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Event summary produced by The Globe and Mail Events team. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

As demand for vehicles continues to surge through the pandemic, automakers are facing supply issues in conjunction with other top priorities such as safety, sustainability and shifting customer demands. What does the future hold for vehicle manufacturers and consumers? The Globe hosted a half-day webcast that covered the most significant shifts in the automotive sector, along with what’s in store for buyers, drivers and cities.

Jordan Chittley, editor of Globe Drive at The Globe and Mail kicked off the program with an in-depth discussion featuring Yolanda Biswah, senior vice-president and general manager of Canadian Black Book, who updated viewers on the global chip shortage and the changing vehicle market outlook in Canada.

Up next, Petrina Gentile, contributing writer with Globe Drive, lead a panel on the trajectory for internal combustion engines (ICEs), the evolution of electric, and the investments, plans and approaches required for the transition to cleaner vehicles. Panelists included Stephen Beatty, vice-president of corporate with Toyota Canada; Cara Clairman, president and CEO of Plug n’ Drive; Shiva Bhardwaj, founder and CEO of Pitstop; and Brian Kingston, president and CEO of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association.

After a short break, Sean Silcoff, technology reporter with The Globe and Mail interviewed Raquel Urtasun, founder of Waabi about how autonomous vehicle technology is maturing and what the future holds for self-driving applications.

Amir Khajepour, professor with the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at University of Waterloo and Sherin Abdelhamid, senior strategy manager of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Services with TELUS were the next featured speakers. They updated viewers on the reality and strategies about ‘full self-driving’ technology. Mark Richardson, freelance columnist for Globe Drive, led the discussion.

Wrapping up the day was a lively panel called ‘Super Size My Ride’, looking at the unceasing demand for larger vehicles in Canada. Matt Bubbers, freelance columnist with Globe Drive hosted Blake Shaffer, assistant professor with the Department of Economics, School of Public Policy at University of Calgary; Laura Zanchin, principal and executive vice-president at Zanchin Automotive Group; Jodi Lai, editor-in-chief of AutoTrader Canada and Peter Hatges, national sector leader of automotive with KPMG in Canada.

To view their full conversation, please see the video playback below, and for more information on upcoming Globe Events, visit our events hub at

Part One

Part Two

The Globe and Mail presented the event with sponsor support from Toyota Canada, KPMG and CAA.