|Title||Is There a Way? Is There Even a Will? Exploring the legal capacity, bureaucratic willingness and capacity, and political willingness and capacity of automated vehicle regulatory development in Toronto, Canada|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Gillies B, Jinhua Zhao|
|Series Title||Working paper|
|Keywords||Automated Mobility Policy Project|
Current research suggests there is a huge uncertainty as to whether automated vehicle development will engender a more equitable, efficient, and sustainable transportation network, or will exacerbate current trends of congestion, sprawl, and inequitable access to travel. Likely, the outcome will be determined by the policies governments adopt to guide development. Some of the most acute challenges of automated vehicle proliferation 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, specifically the City of Toronto, effectively regulate automated vehicles? Interviews were conducted with experts from the public and private sectors and academia, with responses developed into five elements of effective regulation.Firstly, the government needs legal capacity to regulate in a given area. Toronto, for example, is responsible for overseeing local rideshare company activity. The remaining four elements all relate to human resources. Interviews show Toronto’s bureaucrats believe they have a responsibility and ability to craft effective and ambitious regulations that advance the city’s goals. These willing civil servants need the time and the expertise to design good policy, and the Toronto government has an AV working group that provides a forum for such a discussion. To see regulations enacted effectively, however, the mayor and council (to varying degrees, depending on whether the city operates a weak or strong mayoral system) must not only support rules eventually proposed by the working group; they may also need to approach the provincial government to convince them to craft their own complementary AV legislation. This research concludes that should policymakers want to see bold and effective regulation enacted at the local level to address the harms that might arise from AV development and guide private-sector business operations to foster equitable and sustainable planning outcomes, they will want to reflect on not only where within their jurisdiction they can legally ground new rules; they must also look at whether their colleagues and the politicians under whom they serve have the willingness, and ability, to propose such rules. While not touched on here, future research will subsequently explore the requirements to effectively implement and enforce new rules.