Transportation 2030: Green and Innovative Transportation

From Transport Canada

“Green and Innovative Transportation” is one theme under Transportation 2030, the Government of Canada’s strategic plan for a safe, secure, green, innovative and integrated transportation system.

On this page

Our goal for this theme

To improve Canadians’ lives by reducing environmental impacts, including air pollution, and embracing new technologies.

What Canadians told us

In 2016, we consulted Canadians about our transportation system. Here is what they told us about environment and innovation:

  • We should design public policy tools for a longer time frame: we don’t have to invest all capital for green transportation, but we should let those with capital get a return on their investment
  • Incentives and regulations can:
    • reduce carbon pollution
    • get people to use more efficient modes of transport, such as rail and marine
    • encourage the use of new technologies
  • Pollution should be reduced in all modes of transportation, using options such as alternative fuels and electric power
  • We should focus efforts on trade corridors and shared ways of moving goods and people
  • Regulations should help, not hinder, innovation and support economic development
  • For example, unmanned aircraft systems largely benefitted from regulating flexibility to test specific technologies

Where we go from here

To meet our goals for making transportation green and innovative, we committed to:

  • work with provinces and territories through a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change to support a low-carbon transportation system
  • promote ways transportation can adapt to the changing climate, especially in Canada’s North, where thawing permafrost affects the efficiency, safety and maintenance of infrastructure
  • continue to seek the right balance in regulating unmanned aircraft system technology, so that:
    • unmanned aircraft systems continue to help advance scientific research, exploration and rescue operations
    • unmanned aircraft system regulations promote safety and foster economic growth
  • support the use of connected and automated vehicles on our public roads to:
    • improve road safety
    • reduce congestion
    • increase mobility
    • protect the environment
    • support economic opportunities for Canadian businesses
  • make sure our actions support work on government priorities, such as:
    • Canada’s Phase 2 infrastructure plan
    • a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change
    • a national innovation agenda

Budget 2017 support

Budget 2017 supports this work on green and innovative transportation. Related commitments include:

  • $56.9 million to develop greenhouse gas regulations
  • $17.2 million for Transport Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada to develop and implement heavy-duty vehicle retrofit and off-road regulations, as well as a clean fuel standard
  • $16.4 million to assess the ability of federally managed roads, bridges, rail systems and ports to withstand the effects of climate change and natural disasters
  • $120 million for electric vehicle and alternative fuelling infrastructure
  • $76.7 million for connected and automated vehicle and unmanned air system regulations, certification, standards and testing
  • $229 million in support of Clean Energy and Clean Transportation Innovation Programming

Our progress

Supporting the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

In May 2017, along with Natural Resources Canada, we released a report on climate risks. This report includes the current knowledge about climate risks to our transportation sector and ways we can adapt. It is the first of its kind in Canada focused solely on the transportation sector.

Climate Risks and Adaptation Practices for the Canadian Transportation Sector 2016

We are supporting the development of other measures outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, including the:

  • federal carbon pricing benchmark
  • clean fuel standard

In partnership with Innovation, Science and Economic Development, we are also engaging industry and stakeholders to develop a Canada-wide strategy for zero-emission vehicles. This commitment is supported by a national advisory group made up of:

  • government and industry representatives
  • academics
  • consumers
  • other organizations

The group will look at ways to encourage the use of zero-emission vehicles, considering the following subject areas:

  • vehicle supply
  • costs and benefits of owning such vehicles
  • ability of the transportation system to support these vehicles
  • public awareness
  • environmentally responsible industry growth and jobs

Unmanned aircraft system regulations

Small unmanned aircraft systems

On July 15, we published proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette I for small unmanned aircraft systems, 25 kilograms or less, operated within visual line-of-sight.

The proposed regulations include clear safety rules we can enforce.

Canadians have until October 13, 2017 to comment on these proposed regulations. Transport Canada will also engage with stakeholders across the country until that time.

Learn more about the proposed rules for drones in Canada.

New rules for recreational drones

On March 13, 2017, we put in place new rules for operating recreational drones. These rules will apply for up to one year until permanent rules are made.

Learn more about the existing rules for recreational drones.

Research and development

Transport Canada continues to support Canadian research and development for unmanned aircraft systems.

  • We have given the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Centre of Excellence approval to begin operations in Alma, Quebec
    • This test range provides dedicated, restricted airspace where drones can be tested beyond visual line-of-sight
  • We have also provided regulatory expertise on a trial basis for potential search and rescue applications

Automated and connected vehicles

On July 24, 2017, we began a second round of testing of a cooperative truck transport system that uses connected vehicle technology. This technology allows trucks to move more efficiently in tight formations and reduces aerodynamic drag, called “platooning.”

This is the first time this test has been done in Canada. It will improve our understanding of the operational and fuel economy benefits of connected vehicles.

In September 2017 we launched the Program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System.

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