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EV/AV Report ⁠— December 13, 2019

Autopilot Adjustments

Tesla’s Autopilot received a new update this week⁠—and the EV automaker is pushing several new features and improvements, including a new way to adjust speed based on the speed of an adjacent lane.

According to Tesla, the new Autopilot update will automatically recognize when your vehicle is moving at a significantly faster speed than vehicles in neighbouring lanes and adjust its speed accordingly. The automaker says this feature could be handy in heavy-traffic situations or when there is a long line of vehicles merging into a different lane, or exiting onto an off-ramp. 

For the speed demons out there⁠—do not fret. The speed adjustment can be temporarily overridden by pressing on the accelerator pedal. 

The update also includes automatic lane change improvements, which is said to allow the vehicle “to make lane changes with more confidence,” as the vehicle will recognize and initiate lane changes faster and with more assertion.

Finally, Tesla introduced its ‘Autosteer stop sign warning’, enabling your vehicle to warn you if you are about to run a stop sign or stop light while Autosteer is in use. According to the brand, this early feature will herald Tesla’s goal to have Autopilot work for city driving.

The new update⁠—known as 2019.40.2⁠—is being pushed gradually to Tesla’s fleet and may take days⁠—or weeks⁠—to reach the entire fleet. Further, different car models could receive different features.

Fossil Fuel Fines

Ontario drivers who park petroleum-powered vehicles in EV-designated spots may soon be fined $125, thanks to a change to the province’s Highway Traffic Act.

The change says vehicles parked in designated spots must be electric and attached to the station’s charging equipment. If the vehicles are neither electric, owners could be ticketed.

The bill was brought forward in June 2019 by House Leader MPP Paul Calandra and later moved forward by Whitby, Ont. Progressive Conservative MPP Lorne Coe. It was co-sponsored by Guelph MPP and Ontario Green party leader Mike Schreiner.  

The change goes into effect immediately.

Farmland with a Future

Toronto architecture firm Partisans has unveiled plans to transform a rural Canadian town into a ‘smart community’, utilizing fibre optics, drone ports and autonomous vehicles to create what it calls “the city of the future.”

The firm has developed the proposal for Innisfil, Ont.—an agrarian and residential town about 60 kilometres north of Toronto⁠. Called ‘The Orbit’, the proposal outlines plans to develop the rural community into a futuristic city with a host of new technologies⁠—without sacrificing the town’s existing agriculture.

In addition to a fibre optic network providing connectivity across 450-acre development and widespread drone ports for last-mile delivery services, the Partisans also have plans to incorporate autonomous driving infrastructure.

The Orbit proposal was prompted by the introduction of a new Metrolinx rail station, known as GO Transit, in Innisfil. The transit hub will form the centre of the layout.

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