No ESI data
Skip to main content
self driving cars
May 26, 2023
3 min
The Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Cars in Canada

The internet, social media, and smartphones are a handful of everyday examples of technological advancements that have shaped and changed the way we live our lives (for better or for worse).

Modern technology has made many facets of our lives significantly easier, including driving. One of the most recent technological innovations in the automotive industry was the introduction of self-driving cars.

These futuristic vehicles are relatively new in Canada but, thanks to their wide range of benefits, are rapidly growing in popularity with drivers nationwide.

That being said, self-driving vehicles do have their fair share of downsides. This leads us to the question of the day: what are the pros and cons of self-driving cars?

Continue reading to learn about the pros and cons of self driving vehicles and how they affect auto insurance rates in Canada.

Find the best car insurance rates today.

Self-driving cars pros and cons — A detailed overview for drivers in Canada

As exciting and futuristic as self-driving vehicles are, there's no need to rush into a decision. Instead, we suggest that you take a moment to compare the pros and cons. 

Taking the time to do this will help you learn more about these vehicles and help you make an informed decision the next time you need to purchase a new car.

What are the pros of self-driving cars in Canada?

The pros of self-driving vehicles include the following:

  • Can potentially reduce the risk of collisions
  • Speed up the flow of traffic
  • Helps you spend less time on the road

Can potentially reduce the risk of collisions

Accidents can happen to anyone on the road, even the safest, most experienced drivers. However, these types of drivers only cause a small portion of the total automotive accidents in Canada.

Research shows that reckless, distracted, intoxicated and careless drivers cause the majority of automotive accidents. The accidents caused by these drivers have led to countless injuries and immeasurable levels of property damage.

Thankfully, experts believe that self-driving vehicles can help reduce the risk of accidents and collisions on the road. Although the transition will take some time, experts believe that self-driving vehicles will reduce the risk of "user errors" that are caused by distracted or intoxicated drivers.

Speed up the flow of traffic

If you've been wondering, "how do self-driving cars work?", these innovative vehicles utilize what's known as a Platoon system. By utilizing a Platoon system, self-driving vehicles are able to accelerate and slow down simultaneously. This means that if there are several self-driving vehicles on the road, they will slow down and speed up in unison.

How does this affect the flow of traffic? 

Working off of a Platoon system reduces backups caused by "phantom traffic jams". A phantom traffic jam is a term that describes the negative effect of gradual, inconsistent braking. When drivers (in a traditional vehicle) stop and start moving at their own pace, it causes a ripple effect that slows down the motorists behind them. This, in turn, slows down the speed of traffic.

On the other hand, by working off a Platoon system, self-driving vehicles can eliminate the risk of phantom traffic jams by synchronizing the start and stop times of the other cars on the road.

Spend less time on the road

Most drivers want to reach their destination as quickly as possible. However, this can be difficult if you get stuck in traffic and get lost along the way. Thankfully, self-driving vehicles can help you spend less time on the road.

As mentioned earlier, self-driving cars can improve the flow of traffic, which results in quicker, more efficient trips. This means that you can spend less time on the road and more time doing what you need to do.

Additionally, self-driving vehicles feature top-of-the-line GPS systems and innovative data processing techniques, including particle filtering. Drivers can simply type their address or coordinates into their GPS and let their car do the rest. 

What are the cons of self-driving cars in Canada?

Despite the apparent benefits of self-driving vehicles, there are a number of negative aspects that drivers should be aware of. Some of these factors include:

  • Expensive
  • May lead to employment issues
  • Limited supply


Upgrading to a self-driving car may not seem like an enormous expense, but it's quite a costly process.

For starters, you need to purchase a vehicle that is compatible with self-driving technology, like the Tesla Model 3, which is a large enough expense as it is. Additionally, you need to pay for a self-driving package, like Tesla's Full Self-Drive, which costs roughly $7,800 (this is only available through a one-time payment in Canada).

May lead to employment issues

As useful as self-driving vehicles can be, there are concerns that they will lead to employment issues in the future.

Some experts feel that self-driving vehicles will eventually eliminate the need for a variety of transportation-related jobs, like valets, cab drivers and delivery drivers. If self-driving technology is ever utilized on a grand scale in Canada, it could affect countless jobs across the country.

Limited supply

Although Tesla is the most recognizable name in self-driving technology, they aren't the only manufacturer that produces self-driving vehicles. A number of other companies, like Toyota and BMW, manufacture vehicles that feature self-driving technology in some way, shape or form. That being said, it's still relatively difficult to purchase a self-driving vehicle in Canada due to the somewhat limited supply in most areas.

How do self-driving cars affect car insurance rates?

Since self-driving technology is relatively new, auto insurance companies haven't had enough time to assess how these types of vehicles will impact the industry.

That being said, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has made a number of predictions about how they feel self-driving vehicles will impact the auto insurance landscape in Canada. You can click this link to find out what IBC's predictions are. 

Save up to 25% when you bundle with our Surex insurance advisors

Whether you have a run-of-the-mill sedan or a brand-new self-driving car, you need to have auto insurance. If you need help finding competitive auto insurance quotes, look no further than our team at Surex.

Your personal Surex insurance advisor can help you find and compare cheap car insurance quotes in ten minutes or less.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you save!

Our Reviews

Start an insurance quote now