Rotary Club of Stratford
Home of the Stratford Dragon Boat Festival

April 27, 2017

 
 
May 4, 2017:  Sue Wakelin “Classification”.  Harry Brightwell
will introduce our speaker and Alan Wakelin will thank our speaker.

Head Table:  Our President Kevin Silver, invites, Harry Brightwell
, Steve Rae, Lutzen Riedstra, Pat Riehl, Rob Ritz, Peter Roach and Rob Roes, to join him at the head table.
 
This Week:  Clark Mitchel introduced fellow Rotarian and retired City of Stratford CAO, Ron Shaw. A graduate of the University of Toronto and Queens, Ron has a degree in commerce and specialty in municipal management.  He has over 30 years experience in city administration, initially in Kincardine, mainly at the City of Stratford; is a past-president of this Rotary Club and was twice honoured with a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his many contributions to the community.  He is currently working as a private consultant.
 
Today’s speaker, Ron Shaw, presented insights into the speed of technology advancements concerning driverless vehicles.
 
Ron began his talk, The Future is Here: Automated Vehicles, by describing driverless cars as a “disruptive technology ” - an innovation that disrupts or destroys an existing market and creates a new one, that typically exceeds all predictions for its size or impact, in a surprisingly short timeframe.  He highly recommends viewing Tony Seba’s U-Tube video:
 
The video shows New York City’s 5th Avenue in 1900, crowded with horses and buggies, only a single automobile in sight. Despite many wise predictions that the car would never replace the horse, within 13 years the situation was reversed.  There have been many such disruptions in our lifetime – the personal computer and word processing replaced typewriters (and typists), digital photography displaced film and print, cell phones are ubiquitous. What seemed like science fiction on Star Trek has become reality.
 
Many players are actively testing automated cars and competition is fierce.  The major car companies, Uber, Google and Apple are all involved. Locally, both QNX Technologies, a division of Blackberry, and the University of Waterloo (WATCAR) are actively working on this technology. Many cars already have extensive automation from transmissions, automatic braking, and cruise control to lane proximity warning, lane centering, and hands-free parallel parking. There are five levels of automation for vehicles beyond “0”, which is what many of us grew up with i.e. everything is manual. Most cars today are at least level 1 – cruise, ABS etc.; many new cars are level 2 – partially automated – a few functions are hands-off-the-wheel, foot-off-the-gas; and some are level 3, with more automated functions that warn the driver when its necessary to take over.  Level 4 cars already exist; these are fully automated but require a driver to be present and aware.  Level 5 vehicles are in development; these can operate without a driver and are where the technology seems destined to go.  Automated vehicles use short and medium radar to sense their position and can also communicate with each other to avoid collisions.
 
There are many benefits arising from the use of autonomous vehicles.  Fewer accidents, is an obvious outcome, since 85% of collisions result from human error.  Decreased cost is another, most vehicles are underutilized, parked 96% of the time.  Improved fuel efficiency and decrease emission will also result. One car, available on demand, could replace 9-13 privately owned vehicles.  The impact on cities will also be substantial and must be factored into future planning.  Universal wireless communication, ‘smart’ traffic lights, new standards for snow removal, decreased need for parking etc.  Ontario already has regulations governing self-driving vehicles; at this time only for test and development purposes and a driver must be present in the vehicle.  Stratford has been selected as a test site, because of its size, variety of road patterns and traffic conditions, and the existence of the Rhizome wireless network for connectivity.  The endeavor fits with our economic plan, our long-standing involvement in auto parts manufacturing and our commitment to digital technologies.  Stratford’s innovative culture enables it to be on the forefront and remain competitive in the future of the auto industry, which is sure to change in very interesting ways over the next 10-20 years.
 
Roger Black thanked Ron for his informative presentation and his guidance and political astuteness in taking Stratford into the future.
 
Scribe : Pat Shewen
 
 
Katherine Hahn presented details of the proposed David Blackburn Memorial Car rally.  Voting on this new fundraiser will be done at next week’s meeting (May 4th).
 
Guests: Today we welcomed Dennis Goforth, Peg Brant and Pat Redshaw.
 
Draw: The draw prize today was donated by Bob Lightfoot and was won by Bob Gulliford.
 
Make-ups: No report
 
April’s Attendance Committee:  Patty Riehl (I/C),  Geza Wordofa, Sarah Hamza, Gary Morris, Pat Shewen, Ron Shaw, Roger Black, Mark Smith, Tony Carter.
 
May’s Attendance Committee:   Katherine Hahn (I/C), Maryanne Cox, Rena Orr, Gregor Read, Gord Steed, Dave Scott, Cathy Thompson, Ed Dujlovic, Michael Selves, Gerry Thuss
 
June’s Attendance Committee: Ken Grosvenor (I/C), John Carruthers, Gary Lingard, Paul Siberry, Mimi Price, Brent Shackleton  , Doug Page, Pat Feryn