|Title||The Rules of the (Automated) Road: A Regulatory Proposal for Automated Ridehailing Operations in Toronto, Canada, and Government and Industry Feedback|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Gillies B, Jinhua Zhao|
|Series Title||Working paper|
|Keywords||Automated Mobility Policy Project|
A number of organizations have proposed general principles for AV development—such that it must be equitable, sustainable, and promote better city-building—but this research attempts to move further by offering concrete rules in municipal codes automated vehicle ridehailing companies must follow in order to operate in Toronto, Ontario. As the City of Toronto oversees rideshare company operations, they are legally able to adopt regulations that reflect their general planning principles. Through consultation with government stakeholders and a review of the primary and secondary urban and transportation plans, major planning objectives regarding transportation equity and sustainability, and urban vibrancy were determined and seven regulations were proposed to reflect these goals.
These requirements were then presented to policy experts in six City of Toronto policy experts and three employees working in the automated vehicle industry. Op inions varied, from one private-sector stakeholder who argued ridehailing companies, left to their own devices, shall ensure equity and good urban form are respected, to those in the City of Toronto government who advocated for even stronger measures. In general, however, the public representatives supported the regulations, but encouraged an even more robust list that included requirements to ensure rider safety and redundant vehicle control.
Given the disagreement as to whether a future automated vehicle ridehailing business model would be sufficient to accomplish the objectives laid out in the City of Toronto’s plans, future research should consider what data is needed to determine whether it falls short. Additionally, while the local government does have a strong ability to influence ridehailing activity, it has less control over the automated fleet more broadly. As such, it will be worth considering what requirements the provincial government can impose to ensure positive AV development.