The Automated Vehicles Tactical Plan was created to fill a gap: between emerging technical understandings of AVs and the City of Toronto’s existing long-term visions, strategies, and plans of a healthy, equitable, livable and sustainable City.

The AV Tactical Plan outlines how the City should prepare for AVs and how it can influence the direction of the technology in these early stages. The overall goal is to be proactive, ensuring that Toronto is well-placed to both maximize opportunities and mitigate impacts arising from the arrival of AVs in the City.

The Automated Vehicles (AV) Tactical Plan provides an actionable path forward to prepare the City of Toronto for the introduction of highly automated vehicles – or driverless cars – on city streets, in public transit, and in the delivery of municipal services.

The Tactical Plan will ensure that all divisions and agencies are following a consistent direction on this technology, and will allow for clear communication of the City’s priorities as they relate to AVs.

The City of Toronto’s Automated Vehicles Tactical Plan was approved by City Council on October 29, 2019.

More information on the Tactical Plan can be found on the News Releases & Media Advisories page.

AV Readiness 2022

This first phase of preparation in the Automated Vehicles Tactical Plan is intended to ensure that the City of Toronto is “AV Ready” in 2022. To achieve this, the City of Toronto is undertaking five major initiatives over three years to better understand and test this technology. Since October 2019, the City has significantly advanced three of the five major pillars of the AV Readiness 2022 Schedule. The five projects are as follows:

AV Readiness 2022 Item Status of Project
Testing Response & Incident Preparedness  Complete 
Transportation Innovation Zones & Challenges Underway
Research & Development Program Underway
Automated Shuttle Trial Underway
Human Learning Not Started

The report below covers the progress made from October 2019-December 2020. Read on for more details!


The City or Toronto, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), and Metrolinx are working towards launching an automated vehicle (AV) trial to connect local residents to transit options at Rouge Hill GO station. The temporary service will will have an on-board human attendant at all times. For more information on the project, visit

Olli 2.0 Automated Shuttle
Olli 2.0, the Automated Shuttle from Local Motors that will be used to provide the Automated Shuttle Trial in Toronto

In Fall 2019 and the year 2020, key milestones met include:

  • Commissioning an economic development strategy on the opportunities to support the automated transit industry in Toronto
  • Receiving and evaluating five bids on the Automated Shuttle Service Negotiable Request for Proposals.
  • Successfully entering into an agreement with a vendor, Local Motors, to provide the Automated Shuttle Service in partnership with AutoGuardian as an operating partner.
  • Adjusting the project plan and risk mitigation plan to reflect COVID-19.
  • Advancing the service plan, safety plans, and other supporting plans.


The City is developing a Transportation Innovation Zone (TIZ) and the Transportation Innovation Challenges to learn about emerging transportation technologies and approaches and how they could meet some of Toronto’s transportation needs. For more information on the project, visit

Exhibition Place grounds seen from above, looking south west toward Lake Ontario. The image shows large, flat exhibition buildings, parking lots and roads, surrounded by the highway and rail corridor to the north
Exhibition Place grounds, the site of the Transportation Innovation Zone

In Fall 2019 and the year 2020, key milestones met include:

  • Scanning municipal innovation programs across the world to determine best practices.
  • Reporting to City Council in July 2020 on the establishment of the flagship Transportation Innovation Zone at Exhibition Place. City Council asked staff to work with Exhibition Place to establish a TIZ at Exhibition Place for up to five years on the condition that the operations of the innovation zone do not interfere with public access to the Exhibition Place grounds used as parks or open space.
  • Holding online stakeholder workshops engaging nearly 100 stakeholders in discussions about how to build a municipal transportation innovation program for Toronto.
  • Undertaking program design and posting a draft Transportation Innovation Framework for public comment.
  • Issuing a “pilot” Transportation Innovation Challenge for Automated Sidewalk Winter Maintenance technologies at Exhibition Place to test the model. While the call received three applications, the trials could not be held in person due to COVID-19 public health restrictions in place in January and February 2021.

The use of public roads to operate highly automated vehicles is regulated by Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation (MTO). The Ministry has enabled automated vehicle testing on Ontario roads since 2016 with the Automated Vehicle Pilot Program and Ontario Regulation 306/15 under the Highway Traffic Act. In response to this provincial regulation, the City acted to ensure first responders and law enforcement are prepared for automated vehicle testing that occurs on Toronto streets. For more information, visit this page.

In Fall 2019 and the year 2020, key milestones met include:

  • Forming a subcommittee comprised of representatives from First Responder organizations and other relevant divisions, to build awareness of the provincial testing program and identify information that First Responders will need to receive from testing organizations.
  • Engaging industry stakeholders that may conduct AV testing.
  • Developing Guidelines for Submitting a Work Zone and Law Enforcement Interaction Plan for participants in Ontario’s Automated Vehicle Pilot Program who are conducting driverless testing in Toronto.

The AV Tactical Plan sets out tactics under seven directions: Social Equity & Health, Environmental Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, Privacy, Road Safety & Security, Integrated Mobility, and Transportation System Efficiency. Through the Interdivisional Working Group on AVs, 30 City divisions collaborate on implementing this plan.

In fall 2019 and the year 2020, the City made progress as described in the table below.

Tactic Status of tactic Description of progress to date
Environmental Sustainability
2.1.1 Low or Zero-Carbon Energy Sources: Develop and implement a policy to incentivize the adoption of low or zero-carbon energy sources, particularly electric-powered automated vehicles. Underway Electric Vehicle Strategy approved by Council in January 2020
2.1.2 Low or Zero-Carbon Energy Sources for Shared AV Fleets: Develop and implement a policy for shared automated vehicles to use low- or zero-carbon energy sources. Underway Research on vehicle standards, and/or an emissions reduction incentive program for existing vehicles-for-hire.
Economic Sustainability
3.1.2 Testing ‘Sandbox’: Develop and implement a testing ‘sandbox’ to allow industry to play, cluster, and innovate quickly. Complete Established a Transportation Innovation Zone on Exhibition Place grounds
3.1.1 Expand Investment and Employment: Develop and implement a policy and mechanism to expand investment and employment in local sectors related to automated vehicles.


3.2.1 Talent Development: Develop and implement a mechanism to increase the local talent base in sectors related to automated vehicles.


3.3.1 Global Competitiveness: Develop and implement a mechanism to increase Toronto’s recognition and competitiveness in sectors related to automated vehicles.


3.3.2 Cross-Sector Collaboration: Develop and implement a mechanism to facilitate cross-sector collaboration between sectors related to automated vehicles and Toronto’s other economic sectors.

Underway Commissioned an economic development strategy on the opportunities to support the automated transit industry in Toronto
4.1.1 Data Privacy Standards: Develop and implement a policy and mechanisms consistent with Privacy by Design principles, to address ownership, custody, usage, and safeguarding of data associated with a natural person, that is either managed by the City proper, or an authorized third party operating under agreement with the City.


4.1.4 Privacy Governance and Oversight: Develop and implement an enterprise automated vehicle assurance framework that reflects the City’s authority over, and oversight of, data privacy protection across multiple dimensions/domains.

Underway Adopted the Digital Infrastructure Plan Working Principles; advanced work on the Digital Infrastructure Plan
4.1.2 Privacy Standards: Automated Transit Vehicles: Develop and implement policies to ensure automated transit vehicle riders understand what personal data is accessed and collected from them. Underway Conducted a Privacy Impact Assessment for the Automated Shuttle Trial
Road Safety & Security
5.1.2 Transition to AVs – Transit: Manage the transition to automated vehicles by educating operators and riders on how to appropriately use and interact with these vehicles, and by updating vehicle specifications to include partial automation that is proven to increase safety.


5.1.3 Vehicle Collisions – Human Factors: Support the development and adoption of automated vehicle technology that is proven to positively contribute to realizing the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan.


5.1.4 Vehicle Collisions – Environmental Conditions: Support the development and adoption of automated vehicle technology that is proven to reduce injuries and deaths from vehicle collisions resulting from Toronto’s unique environmental conditions.


5.2.2 AV Integration – Transit: Manage the transition to automated vehicles by identifying and focusing investment on corridors or areas for early integration of automated transit vehicles.


5.2.4 New and Revised Standards: Develop and implement maintenance and design standards that integrate the use of automated vehicles while increasing the safety of the transportation system for all users.

Underway Early learning through the Automated Shuttle Trial
5.2.1 AV Integration: Manage the transition to automated vehicles by identifying and focusing investment on corridors or areas for early integration of and potential exclusive use by automated vehicles. Underway Early learning through the Transportation Innovation Zone
5.2.3 AV Integration – Connected Vehicles: Develop and implement a policy and mechanism to securely integrate connected vehicles into the transportation system, including options to finance or supply connected and automated vehicle infrastructure and coordination. Underway Advancement through the Congestion Management Interim Action Plan
5.3.2 Emergency Response Policies: Integrate consideration for automated vehicles into existing policies for responding to emergencies.


5.3.3 Emergency Response Protocols & Training: Develop and implement protocols and training addressing emergency response in an automated vehicle environment.


5.3.4 Enforcement: Develop and implement operating procedures addressing automated vehicles when responding to infractions.

Underway Established administrative system and guidelines for emergency response plans for AV testing in Toronto


Conducted First Responder training related to the Automated Shuttle Trial

Integrated Mobility
6.1.1 Transit Priority: Develop and implement a mechanism to increase the ability to provide transit priority with automated vehicles. Underway First stage of implementation of RapidTO bus corridors
6.1.4 Urban Goods Movement: Develop and implement a policy and mechanism to manage urban goods movement in automated vehicles, including non-passenger automated vehicles. Underway Approval of Toronto’s first Freight and Goods Movement Strategy
6.3.2 Microtransit: Develop and implement a policy regarding the integration of automated microtransit into the transit system. Underway Early learning through the Automated Shuttle Trial
Transportation System Efficiency
7.1.3 Designated Loading Areas: Develop and implement a standard for designating automated vehicle loading and unloading areas in high-demand places. Underway Piloted designated loading area solutions via CurbTO
7.2.5 Manage the Peak: Develop and implement a mechanism to improve travel time reliability and system efficiency by maintaining or reducing the number of automated vehicle trips during peak congestion periods. Underway Worked with the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute to model system impacts of AVs
City Operations
PSV. 6 Non-Passenger AVs for City Services

Support the research and development of non-passenger automated vehicles that can provide municipal services.

Underway Issued a pilot T and commissioned a market study on the technology
GOV.3 Monitoring Indicators: Develop and implement robust indicators to monitor the transition from human-driven vehicles to automated vehicles as well as their associated impacts on the transportation system and delivery of City of Toronto services. Complete Worked with Ryerson University to develop monitoring indicators