|Title||Don’t Get Taken for a Ride! Designing and Implementing Effective Autonomous Vehicle Regulation in Toronto, Ontario|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Academic Department||Department of Urban Studies and Planning|
|Degree||Master of City Planning|
|University||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Thesis Type||Master of City Planning|
Studies suggest autonomous vehicles can enable a more equitable, efficient, and sustainable transportation network. Yet, experts point out this outcome is not guaranteed, and that without outside policy intervention autonomous vehicle (AV) use might actually exacerbate congestion, sprawl, and inequitable access to travel. These challenges will be most acutely felt in areas under the purview of local governments—such as transportation congestion, land use, and impacts on public transit. As such, the goal of this thesis is to assist municipal policymakers with mitigating these impacts by answering the question: How can local governments effectively regulate autonomous vehicles?
Looking at Toronto, Canada, specifically, this thesis provides a framework for designing effective regulation, as well as an example of a proposed new section of Toronto’s Municipal Code governing autonomous rideshare companies. Finally, it solicits feedback from local policymakers as to the challenges the provisions in the article might face were the government to attempt their ratification.
This thesis can be used both by Toronto policymakers and their counterparts elsewhere as the basis for discussion in designing the specific rules for AV operations that will be incorporated into a future version of the Municipal Code.