Transportation 2030: Green and Innovative Transportation

"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 support innovation and economic development, while maintaining safety
    • For example, remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) (also known as drones) 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:
    • remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) continue to help advance scientific research, exploration and rescue operations
    • RPAS 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 owned roads, bridges, airports and ports to withstand the effects of climate change and natural disasters
  • $6.9 million to continue the Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative
  • $120 million for electric vehicle and alternative fuelling infrastructure
  • $76.7 million for connected and automated vehicle and remotely piloted aircraft 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 and adaptation practices. 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
  • conducting research and testing on clean transportation technologies for all modes of transportation

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

Remotely piloted aircraft systems


On January 9, we published new regulations for flying remotely piloted aircraft systems (also known as drones) in Canada. These rules are now in effect and apply to drones that weigh not more than 25 kilograms (kg), and that are operated within a drone pilot’s visual-line-of-sight.

New rules for drones in Canada

Research and development

Transport Canada continues to support Canadian research and development for drones.

Automated and connected vehicles

Cooperative truck transport

We are testing 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.

Program funding for automated and connected vehicles

In September 2017, we launched the Program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System to help Canadian provinces, territories and municipalities prepare Canada's transportation system for Connected and Automated Vehicles.

ACATS is currently funding 15 projects across Canada.

Senate Standing Committee report

The Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications released a report in January 2018 on connected and automated vehicles. Their report recommends how to encourage the responsible development and use of this technology.

Read the Senate Standing Committee report

The Government of Canada Response to the Senate Standing Committee report was tabled on July 27, 2018.

Read the Government Response (PDF, 15 MB)

National framework

We are also working with provinces and territories to improve safety requirements for automated and connected vehicles. This will also support efforts to develop a national framework for connected vehicles and automated vehicles.

Related links