Autonomous vehicles need to learn how to drive in virtually any weather condition, which includes snow and sleet. In Stratford, Ontario, cars are learning how to drive autonomously on snow and sleet-covered roads. This is something that Ford has already been doing near its headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, but now more companies are doing the same in this small town of Stratford. The town is well known for its annual theater festival, but now it's gaining a name for itself as the capital for "snowtonomous" driving.
Where about half of the United States has a Winter season full of snow and cold weather, it's important for these self-driving vehicles to learn how to drive in these conditions. As snow can greatly affect the way a car drives, as anyone who has driven in the snow can tell you. But colder temperatures also affect the experience as well. There are a few companies testing out their self-driving vehicles in Canada as well, due to its colder winters, including Uber who was testing their vehicles in Toronto, but has since halted all testing after one of its vehicles killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona this past week. BlackBerry is also still testing out its own self-driving cars in Ottawa.
Self-driving cars have progressed quite a bit in the past few years, but it still needs quite a bit more testing. And that was evident when Uber's self-driving vehicles hit a woman earlier this week. But, self-driving cars have still resulted in far less injuries and fatalities than human-operated vehicles. There are many advantages to self-driving cars, with the big one being the fact that the roads will be far safer. And with many companies testing vehicles on the roads in Canada right now – when the majority of the US are in Spring with warmer temperatures now – these companies are taking steps to make sure these vehicles are safe for winter driving. It'll still likely be a few years before these vehicles can drive in the winter roads of the Northern part of the US without any issues though, but these companies are getting it started.