Proposed Amendments to Ontario Regulation 306/15: Pilot Project - Automated Vehicles and Revised Regulations of Ontario 1990, Regulation 628: Vehicle Permits
O. Reg. 306/15
R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 628
Bill or Act:
Highway Traffic Act
Summary of Proposal:
On January 1, 2016, Ontario launched a 10-year pilot project under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) to allow for the testing of automated vehicles (AVs) on Ontario's roads by eligible participants under certain conditions. This program was enhanced on January 1st, 2019, by allowing for the testing of driverless vehicles under the pilot, permitting the use of conditionally automated vehicles (specifically Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 3 AVs) by Ontario consumers and through the creation of a cooperative platooning framework for large trucks.
Implementing a pilot marked the first step, among many others, to showcase Ontario as a leader in technology development and as a dynamic and innovative testing ground.
We recognize the importance of new vehicle technologies; however, safety remains a top priority for the ministry. The pilot framework ensures that the province's roads remain safe while also supporting economic growth and innovation.
The pilot phase also allows the ministry to establish rules, monitor industry and technology developments, and evaluate the safety of AVs prior to the vehicles becoming widely available to the public. On an ongoing basis throughout the pilot, MTO will assess data and information from on-road testing of AVs, engage stakeholders and make amendments to the pilot framework and Manufacturer Plate Program, as required.
Ontario aims to be a leading jurisdiction in the advancement, deployment and adoption of connected and automated vehicle (CV/AV) technology, harnessing it to achieve our transportation goals, optimize our transportation system, enable economic growth and innovation, and align with other jurisdictions where possible, while protecting road safety in Ontario.
For details on the ministry's proposal, please see the attached summary. We invite you to submit comments on these proposals for MTO consideration.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The commitment to create jobs, prosperity and open the province to business is a key priority for the government. The proposed amendments will support the research and development (R&D) of Connected vehicle (CV)/Automated vehicle (AV) technology in Ontario and have the potential to attract new business and research opportunities to the province. Some companies based outside of Canada may consider bringing their vehicles to Ontario to take advantage of testing their CV/AVs in snow, ice, and cold weather conditions, as permissible. The proposals align with Ontario's commitment to reduce red tape for business and supports Ontario's growth in a globally competitive market by eliminating barriers that may limit AV testing plans or abilities.
The proposals may also benefit consumers, municipalities, and rural, remote, and/or underserved communities by providing more convenience and transit options. Facilitating CV/AV testing in Ontario could lead to long-term road safety benefits, congestion reduction and enhanced mobility benefits once these vehicles are market-ready.
The AV pilot program is a time-limited program to permit eligible stakeholders to test AVs on public roads if they wish. Participation in the pilot program is voluntary. Therefore, there are no regulatory costs or new burdens imposed on stakeholders as participation is not mandatory. Participation in the pilot is beneficial to those stakeholders wishing to participate and the associated benefits are anticipated to greatly outweigh any minor costs.
September 29, 2021
Comments Due Date:
November 15, 2021
Ministry of Transportation
Road Safety Policy Office
Safety Policy and Education Branch
87 Sir William Hearst Avenue
Building "A", Room 212