By on October 14, 2015

Teddy Lee

Ontario announced this week that it would be the first Canadian province to allow autonomous driving on its roads (although maybe not autonomous Volts) and it would make insurance companies discount policies for owners who have winter tires.

The programs were announced Tuesday and Wednesday by the ministries of finance and transportation in the province.

Ontario would join a handful of U.S. states that allow autonomous cars, including California and Michigan, on its roads for testing. According to the statement announcing the program, companies developing autonomous cars can begin applying for permits next month.

The government is also offering an additional $500,000 CAD ($385,000 US) to its Ontario Centres of Excellence Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle Program. The provincial government has pledged more than $2 million already.

On the tire front, Quebec is the only province that requires winter tires be used everywhere in winter months. British Columbia requires winter tires or chains on certain roads in mountainous areas. Last year, the Colorado Legislature proposed making winter tires mandatory for Interstate 70 through the Rocky Mountains, but that bill was solidly defeated with breathless hyperbole.

“We might as well have a tire police,” said Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton … 

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53 Comments on “Ontario Is Getting It Right With Cars Today, Closer to Xanadu...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I would of thought that BC aka British California would of been the first to allow autonomous cars or more specifically Vancouver Island/Lower Mainland. That area tends to have similarities politically with California.

    I guess autonomous cars will be great in Ottawa since the Senate needs brainless devices to pack around brainless political appointees.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    The men who hold high places apparently know that you need snow tires to turn your path homeward.

    Colorado residents apparently can’t understand what it means.

    blah blah blah

    Rocinante

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I’m sorry, but that is a homely, flat-chested woman.

    But she seems tall and with great hands for spanning the frets on a bass, something my paws have never managed.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      I think she’s kind of cute in a dorky way.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        I think I know what you mean. And chicks who look like that invariably wind up as neurosurgeons or chairing math departments, so good catches.

        But there’s just nothing for a peasant like me to sink his teeth in :-(

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        If I am not mistaken that is Geddy Lee the lead singer of Rush who happens to be a dude.

        But hey, in this day and age it is okay to like the looks of skinny long-haired men.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      That there be a man, but anyone who’s heard the studio recording of Xanadu could be forgiven for believing otherwise. Dude’s in his sixties now but even my little kids refer to him as a “her” when they see recent live Rush recordings.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        OK, I knew that but the photo looks so much like the Smartest Girl in the World who briefly passed through my school in 6th and 7th grades because her multiple PhD, MD, CIA, Mossad, Juliard and kibbutzim-grown parents for some mysterious reason were slumming.

        But her voice was deeper and her facial hair more robust.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Your repeated blasphemy against the Rock God Trio has been noted and recorded in your permanent record. Good luck passing the pearly gates, pal.

          • 0 avatar
            Domestic Hearse

            RideHeight is both terribly wrong and completely correct in his assessment of Geddy’s vocals.

            Singing soprano as a man is indeed an unnatural act. And even in his prime, Geddy’s voice was/is an acquired taste. The fact he was able to sing in mixed meter while ripping through master-class bass rock lines AND play the bass synth with his feet is a feat of prog-rock mastery and any dissent on this matter shall not be considered.

            However — HOWEVER — his voice has mostly left his body. His glorious soprano screech can barely clear the octave above middle C, and even then it’s thin, wavering and usually painfully flat. Age will do that to a guy.

            And so it was that my wife, an avowed Rush hater, bought us tickets to see Rush for my birthday a couple years ago. She marveled at all the 40-60 year old men wearing black Rush t-shirts, air drumming along with Peart or air guitaring along with Lifeson — an arena of mullets flipping back and forth. She had no idea Rush Nerd Nation was legion. And a little scary.

            Sadly, toward the end of the show, it was me, not her, that suggested we take our leave. The band’s chops were still there, strong as ever. But Geddy’s voice was, even for me, painful to endure. Often, he’d go for a note and have to drop an interval or two because he just can’t hit them like he used to.

            Having seen the band when Moving Pictures first came out, and several times thereafter, it was a disappointing and painful moment of truth. My rock gods are fading. But f^#( if they still can’t play the $%!t out of YYZ.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          RideHeight – your penitence shall be listening to “2112” 2,112 times.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      “parochial school with real nuns”

      So that explains where your hatred for all things religion comes from RideHeight. I was wondering….

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        He’s from my parents generation so I understand where he is coming from. The nuns for the most part were on Social Security by the time I had them and regular abuse was too much energy for them.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I went to schools run by priests and brothers…………. does that explain my acceptance of gays?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          We were not exposed to that, and the one brother whose boat may have floated such a way was one of the kindest, calm, and most patient people I ever met (but I to this day have no idea one way or another).

          Br. Eric once conducted an chemistry experiment in front of the classroom which literally exploded unexpectedly. He in the most calm manner politely asked us all to accompany him to the adjacent lab for an eyewash and for those in the first row to immediately follow him to the nurse. Fortunately no one had any serious issues including he. Looking back his poise after a fricking accident is very admirable.

  • avatar
    Prado

    To most of us on this site, this is more “Red Barchetta’ than Xanadu.

  • avatar
    marc

    I’m guessing that is Canadian band Rush performing Xanadu. I’d much rather see my goddess Olivia up there in full 1980 Xanadu greek goddess regalia.
    http://www.onlyolivia.com/visual/xanadu/xanpc16.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      OMG! You mean that’s a guy?!

      More horrifically, it’s the guy with the Munchkin-On-Meth voice who was lead singer for that awful band ?!

      I gotta wash my brain out.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Bite thy tongue, sir. Rush didn’t end in the 70s and–while still unique–his voice has toned down quite a bit. And the bass must be respected. Here’s a link for their upcoming concert DVD after 40 years of being a productive band with the same lineup. Much better representation of them than 70s radio hits. I think this band really came into their own in the 2000s.

        http://ultimateclassicrock.com/rush-roll-the-bones-live/

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          No offense to you, but Zappa’s studio and live product of any active period makes Rush appear the toddlers with 4-note xylophones that they truly were.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Eh, I’m not much into the “there can be only one!” philosophy of judging musicians and artists, so I’m not offended. But you’ve got to ignore quite a bit to label Rush “toddlers with 4-note xylophones”. If you want to challenge personal opinion seemingly formed decades ago, I’d check out some of their newer stuff. They’re still a band and toured as recently as this summer.

            My own pops hated Rush solely because of Geddy Lee’s vocals in the 1970s and just a little bit of exposure to their recent live work turned that into sincere respect even if their genre of music still isn’t his cup of tea.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I happily concede your point because I’m utterly burned-out on *everybody’s* overreaching extravaganzas from that era of rock.

            All I care about anymore are fresh strings on the oldest Martin I can afford.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            You’re a character, RideHeight :)

  • avatar
    Pch101

    By-Tor has a snow dog. No need for any stinkin’ winter tires.

    (Yes, I dug deep into the Rush catalog for that one.)

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    The soundtrack to Xanadu was fair to good, but the movie was awful. Even an ELO fan like myself couldn’t get through about half an hour.

  • avatar
    64andahalf

    Most gold certified albums of all time:
    1) beatles
    2) stones
    3) aerosmith
    4) RUSH

    ‘nuf said. And BTW, Steven Tyler looks like a chick more than Geddy

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      That’s odd, the RIAA list I’m looking at says most Gold-certified is:
      1. Elvis Presley
      2. Barbra Streisand
      3. The Beatles
      4. The Rolling Stones
      5. Neil Diamond

      …with Rush at #17.

      Most Platinum-certified:
      1. Elvis
      2. The Beatles
      3. George Strait
      4. Barbra
      5. The Stones

      …with Rush at #30.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Since we’ll never be able to pass legislation for requiring winter tires, the insurance discount seems like an excellent idea. I wondered why insurance companies don’t already offer it. It would cut down on claims.

  • avatar
    Brumus

    Could someone kindly fill me in on the ill-fated attempt in CO to get no-season tires off the road in winter (behind paywall).

    And who in God’s name would drive in the CO mountains during winter with no-season rubber? (And don’t tell me “Don’t need winters — have all-wheel drive.”)

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I’d be interested to see if any of our drivers in Ontario are ever found at fault in an accident for their lack of snow tires. At least in Toronto, far too few people seem to accept that winter is a thing, and then when winter comes, insist on driving and holding the rest of us up.

    Also, because the province has no interest in fostering competent drivers, bring on the autonomous cars, as it’d still be a step up.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      In what situation would your choice of tires be relevant in determining fault?

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Lack of traction? I mean, that’s sort of important.

        I mean, I’m mostly considering the whole German thing with the Autobahn where you don’t get ticketed for driving over 130km/h in the unrestricted areas, but accept you’ll automatically be found partially at fault in the event of an accident. I want the same for snow tires, if just to clean up our roads in winter.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Seriously Maymar, give me an example where the normal determination of fault should be overruled by the choice of tires.

          If a driver with all-seasons gets rear ended at a red light by a driver with winter tires, is the driver with all-seasons at fault?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @rpn453 – “In what situation would your choice of tires be relevant in determining fault?”

        In any situation where the tires on your vehicle do not match conditions and there are laws in place that demand certain tires.

        Even without set laws we have the doctrine of “reasonable and prudent” which applies to everything from professional conduct to personal conduct.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          So if someone is safely driving down a snowy road with all-seasons and an oncoming vehicle with winter tires loses control and crosses the center line, hitting them head on, the driver with all-seasons is at fault?

          Damn, that’s harsh. I guess that’s the way hardcore ideologists view things.

          Personally, I think fault should continue to be determined entirely by your ability to maintain control of your vehicle in accordance with traffic laws, regardless of your equipment choices.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Fine, let’s say there’s any evidence whatsoever that the party with all-season tires made an attempt to evade, and were not able to do so to the fullest of their capabilities?

            Also, I’m not suggesting total fault, just partial, because people who don’t accept the limitation of their no season tires are (internet hyperbole ahead) the worst.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Still the driver that crossed the line’s fault. Typically, they would be 100% at fault. The best they could hope for is 80/20, but most states are not pure comparative negligence. If I were the insurance company for the person with all-seasons that did not cross the line, I would subrogate the other insurance company for 100% of my parties damages, or the max allowed in the state.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Maybe people caught driving without winter tires should just be imprisoned, where they can no longer harm anyone by existing on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I’m not even strongly opposed to a winter tire law in certain climates, including mine. My friends, family, and I use them regardless. I’d just prefer that it be dealt with using equipment violation fines rather than trying to assign fault where none can be proven.

            I’m actually probably more extreme than any of you in my views on winter driving, but in a different direction. I’d prefer that salt/sand/gravel never be used on the roads, except possibly for high speed roads with a lot of heavy truck travel. Just plow them and let people accept responsibility for driving in a suitable manner for road conditions and equipping their vehicles well enough to handle those conditions.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    For winter driving, the aspect ratio of the tire is as important as the tread pattern. I would rather have 70 series all weather tires than 55 series snows.
    But the type of tire and how many wheels are driven only matters when getting and keeping moving in snow. When it comes to stopping, they all suck, but again the lower aspect ratio tires are worse as the have less force per patch area meaning they will hydroplane easier.
    When stopping on icy roads, there is no difference between the type of drive or tires except for studded tires which are illegal in many states.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Winter tires should ideally be thinner and taller than your stock tire/wheel combination.

      For my C-Max I run the following tire/wheel combos:

      Nov-March – 15″ steel wheels – 215/65R15 winter tires
      April-Sept – 17″ OEM wheels – 225/50R17 all season tires

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Felix Hoenikker – not exactly. I read a test on a Honda with identical sized tires but one set were winters, one set all season, and a set of summers. The winters were 40% better than the All Seasons in winter conditions. They were worse obviously on dry and wet. Surprisingly enough the summer only tires were better than the All Seasons in wet.

      Modern winter tires i.e. the ones with the mountain/snowflake icon on the side wall are designed to work as well as a studded tire. The issue is whether or not the studded tire is a “mud and snow” or “winter” tire. Most winter tires I see are not designed for studding.

      Most people do not know that winter tires and snow tires are actually different.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        “Modern winter tires i.e. the ones with the mountain/snowflake icon on the side wall are designed to work as well as a studded tire.”

        Rubber technology hasn’t reached that point yet. Studless tires still perform poorly on smooth, warm ice.

        http://www.skstuds.ca/2015/10/04/the-studless-tire-deception-ice-temperature-and-why-studless-tires-frequently-outperform-studded-tires-in-tests/

        Studded tires still dominate the serious winter tire tests.

        http://www.skstuds.ca/2015/10/04/the-2015-norwegian-automobile-federation-winter-tire-test-is-out/

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “For winter driving, the aspect ratio of the tire is as important as the tread pattern.”

      No, it’s not. Not even close. I wish I could put you in the passenger seat of one of my buddies’ B8 Audi S4s running 245/40R18 Hakkapeliitta 7’s for a demo.

      And studless winter tires are typically quite a bit better on ice than all-seasons. Below -13C, they even work a bit better than studded winter tires.

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