Item - 2016.PW13.14
- This item was considered by Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on May 16, 2016 and was adopted without amendment.
PW13.14 - Preparing the City of Toronto for Autonomous Vehicles
- Decision Type:
The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee:
1. Requested the General Manager, Transportation Services, to report back to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee no later than the fourth quarter of 2016 with recommendations on how the City of Toronto might prepare for the introduction of automated and autonomous vehicles. The report should outline the following:
a. Specific actions planned by Transportation Services to prepare for automated and autonomous vehicles over the next two years;
b. An overview of potential implications that could be experienced by other divisions as a result of vehicle automation, and where possible, options for mitigating impacts; and
c. An overview of the public's potential acceptance of automated and autonomous vehicles, and how it compares to other jurisdictions.
Autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles will soon be a reality on Toronto's streets. Various predications indicate that driverless cars could be available in North America in significant numbers as early as 2020. By 2030, up to 15 percent of new cars could be fully autonomous.
Some jurisdictions in the United States, Europe and Asia already permit some testing of autonomous vehicles. The states of California, Florida and Nevada, among others, have forged ahead with legislation allowing self-driving cars on their roads. As of January 1, 2016, Ontario became the first province to allow companies to road test autonomous vehicles.
It's important that the City of Toronto be prepared to address new challenges – and opportunities – associated with the expansion of autonomous vehicle technology in the coming years. These vehicles will have a profound impact on how people move in and around the city as well as on the delivery of key city services.
We need to make strategic decisions now to effectively shape, rather than react to, the changing technological future of our city. Transportation Services has already initiated a divisional working group and is developing a policy framework to manage the diverse impacts that driverless vehicles will bring to Toronto.
With that in mind, I'm requesting the General Manager, Transportation Services report to the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee with recommendations on how the City of Toronto and its divisions could prepare for the arrival and expansion of autonomous vehicle technology.