Toronto City Council has approved the Automated Vehicles (AV) Tactical Plan and Readiness 2022 report. The plan aims to make Toronto “AV Ready” by 2022 and includes five key actions for city staff. One of the key actions is an automated shuttle trial already scheduled to connect the West Rouge neighbourhood in Scarborough with the nearby Rouge Hill GO Transit station by September 2020.
Partially automated vehicles are already in Toronto – these are mainly passenger vehicles with cruise control, automated braking and lane control. The Tactical Plan addresses both types of automation and recognises that some actions are required now, whilst other planning can stretch all the way to 2050.
The plan balances the long-term opportunities automated vehicles offer, such as improvements in how freight, goods and people are moved throughout the city, and how services are delivered, while anticipating and mitigating the possible risks. It sets the foundation for a future transportation system that aims to improve mobility, with a focus on these aspects:
- Social equity and health
- Environmental and economic sustainability
- Protection of privacy as well as a more integrated transportation network
- Increase efficiency
- Progress toward achieving safer roads through Vision Zero.
Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, said: “Highly autonomous vehicles will bring rapid change to how we move people and things, and even deliver city services in the future. There is tremendous potential for this technology in helping us to achieve our broader city goals as they relate to efficiency and resiliency in our transportation network, and how they contribute to social equity, and environmental and economic sustainability.”
The AV Tactical Plan was developed by more than 30 City of Toronto divisions and agencies and by consulting more than 350 community groups and companies that are currently involved in developing AVs. The city also partnered with a number of organisations including academic institutions in Canada and the U.S., as well as other national and international organisations and experts to prepare the plan.
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