British Columbia bans vehicles with Level 3 ADAS

Date: April 17, 2024.British Columbia, a province in Canada, has implemented a ban on all vehicles equipped with Level 3 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). This decision directly affects high-end models like the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Mercedes-Benz EQS, which feature such technology.

The update to the Motor Vehicle Act introduced the ban, which took effect on April 15, 2024, following its announcement on March 18. The law now prohibits the operation of vehicles with Level 3 systems, even if the automated driving features are not in use. Owners of such vehicles could face fines ranging from CAD 368 to CAD 2,000 or even a six-month prison sentence if caught driving them in the province.

Level 3 ADAS allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel and their eyes off the road at speeds below 64 km/h. However, the British Columbia government has stated that they need to conduct further testing and make policy adjustments before considering these systems safe for widespread use on public roads.

The government’s stance is that the new regulations will enhance road safety and promote the use of active transportation. They have not ruled out the future use of Level 3 technology, indicating that it may be allowed once it has undergone more rigorous testing and policy development.

This move by British Columbia contrasts with the approach taken by some U.S. states, such as Arizona and California, which have welcomed self-driving startups and the testing of autonomous vehicles. The ban reflects the province’s cautious approach to the adoption of emerging transportation technologies and its commitment to ensuring the safety of all road users.

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