Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

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What are connected and automated vehicles?

Connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) are driverless or self-driving vehicles that are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence (AI), a variety of sensors, connected infrastructure, and a global positioning system (GPS) among other means to successfully and safely navigate a transportation system.

Vehicles with various levels of automation – such as cruise control, automated braking, and other safety features – have been available for years. And now, as the transportation continues to push for improvements to road safety through artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles are being tested on public roads in Ontario through a Ministry of Transportation pilot program based on SAE International standards.

Driverless vehicles are coming to Ontario roads, and municipalities across the province are putting strategies in place to make sure they are prepared. The City of London is seeking public input as staff explore how to prepare for the introduction of CAVs to our roads.

It is expected that fully automated or driverless vehicles may be available to consumers within the next 10-20 years. This will bring sweeping changes to transportation. CAV technology has the potential to transform cities, and a Smart Cities approach will be needed to deploy the digital and physical infrastructure necessary to connect vehicles to vital information.



Strategic Areas of Focus

The initial Strategic Areas of Focus (SAFs) were developed with input from the members of the Connected and Automated Vehicle Working Group (CAVWG). The initial SAFs are a living document and subject to change (i.e. revisions and refinement) throughout the development of the Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) CAV Strategic Plan:


1. Social Equity and Health

The City will encourage the adoption of CAVs through policies that improve social equity, health, and barrier-free access with a particular focus on historically underserviced communities.

Sub-areas: Equity, Health


2. Environmental Sustainability

The City will encourage the adoption of CAVs in a manner that incentivizes environmental sustainability across a vehicle’s entire lifecycle. Actions will focus on reduced vehicle emissions and waste through incentivizing or promoting low or zero-carbon energy sources and promoting sustainable use and practices.

Sub-areas: Emissions, Environment, Waste


3. Economic Sustainability

The City will support and enhance sectors related to the development and use of both CAVs and associated technology, with a particular focus on retaining and attracting industries, investment, and employment. Actions related to Economic Sustainability will aim to expand London’s regional position as it relates to CAVs.

Sub-areas: Economic Development, Labour


4. Data Privacy, Security, and Governance

The City will support and enhance data privacy and transportation network security with a particular focus on the City’s collection and use of information generated by CAVs and related systems where authorized by law. Actions will focus on protecting privacy through policy and by-law, providing oversight and evaluation, and incorporating privacy principles into any potential collection and use of information generated by CAVs. Further, data gathered should be used to inform the implementation and evaluation of this strategic plan and to improve how the City delivers services.

Sub-areas: Data, Business Intelligence


5. Urban Form

The City will plan for the potential impacts and implications of CAVs in context of sustainable urban form, land use, growth, development, placemaking, and the approved London Plan. Actions will focus on properly integrating compact development (i.e. discourage urban sprawl), supportive parking, and related infrastructure into the urban fabric to deliver quality neighbourhoods, main streets, and streetscapes with CAV elements.

Sub-areas: City Structure, Land Use, Parking, Placemaking, London Plan


6. Road Safety and Security

The City will encourage the adoption of CAVs that are supportive of improved road safety. A net benefit to road safety will be achieved through actions that focus on protecting vulnerable users, users with disabilities, preventing collisions, updating infrastructure, and improving emergency response. Actions will address both the knowns and unknowns of CAVs and will look at the ideal policies, technology, standards, and training required to achieve improved safety.

Sub-areas: Complete Streets, Disabled Users, Road Safety, Road Security, Vision Zero, Vulnerable Users


7. Integrated Mobility

The City will encourage the adoption of CAVs as part of a mobility network that serves a person’s individual needs at any given time. Actions will further integrate space-efficient and active modes of travel, support public transit, improve connections within the system, and better manage impacts from the movement of goods. For public and mass transit, actions will encourage the adoption of CAVs for the purpose of improving reliability, efficiency, safety, and seamlessness of transit. Further actions will allow the City to work with its regional partners to ensure that both internal City and external regional transportation networks are integrated for use with CAVs, as well as other multi-modal transportation networks such as bus, rail, and air travel.

Sub-areas: Seamless Mobility, Active Modes, Traffic Impacts, Goods Movement, Public Transit, Smart Streets, Street Design, Public Service Vehicles, Regional Integration, Ownership Models


8. Transportation System Efficiency

The City will incorporate CAV technology in order to increase infrastructure efficiency and enhance its ability to manage traffic in real-time. Actions will be focused on the areas of transportation demand management, curbside management, pricing mechanisms, and utilization of transportation-related data.

Sub-areas: Connected Infrastructure, Curbside Management, Traffic Management, Transportation Efficiency, Transportation Optimization, Transportation Demand Management, Traveler Information


9. City Fleet and Services

The City will enhance its fleet and services through CAVs and related systems for the purpose of improving safety and public service delivery. Actions will evaluate the transformation of fleet vehicles and City services as well as potential impacts to employment and labour needs.

Sub-areas: City Services, Human Resources, Labour, Fleet Vehicles

What are connected and automated vehicles?

Connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) are driverless or self-driving vehicles that are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence (AI), a variety of sensors, connected infrastructure, and a global positioning system (GPS) among other means to successfully and safely navigate a transportation system.

Vehicles with various levels of automation – such as cruise control, automated braking, and other safety features – have been available for years. And now, as the transportation continues to push for improvements to road safety through artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles are being tested on public roads in Ontario through a Ministry of Transportation pilot program based on SAE International standards.

Driverless vehicles are coming to Ontario roads, and municipalities across the province are putting strategies in place to make sure they are prepared. The City of London is seeking public input as staff explore how to prepare for the introduction of CAVs to our roads.

It is expected that fully automated or driverless vehicles may be available to consumers within the next 10-20 years. This will bring sweeping changes to transportation. CAV technology has the potential to transform cities, and a Smart Cities approach will be needed to deploy the digital and physical infrastructure necessary to connect vehicles to vital information.



Strategic Areas of Focus

The initial Strategic Areas of Focus (SAFs) were developed with input from the members of the Connected and Automated Vehicle Working Group (CAVWG). The initial SAFs are a living document and subject to change (i.e. revisions and refinement) throughout the development of the Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) CAV Strategic Plan:


1. Social Equity and Health

The City will encourage the adoption of CAVs through policies that improve social equity, health, and barrier-free access with a particular focus on historically underserviced communities.

Sub-areas: Equity, Health


2. Environmental Sustainability

The City will encourage the adoption of CAVs in a manner that incentivizes environmental sustainability across a vehicle’s entire lifecycle. Actions will focus on reduced vehicle emissions and waste through incentivizing or promoting low or zero-carbon energy sources and promoting sustainable use and practices.

Sub-areas: Emissions, Environment, Waste


3. Economic Sustainability

The City will support and enhance sectors related to the development and use of both CAVs and associated technology, with a particular focus on retaining and attracting industries, investment, and employment. Actions related to Economic Sustainability will aim to expand London’s regional position as it relates to CAVs.

Sub-areas: Economic Development, Labour


4. Data Privacy, Security, and Governance

The City will support and enhance data privacy and transportation network security with a particular focus on the City’s collection and use of information generated by CAVs and related systems where authorized by law. Actions will focus on protecting privacy through policy and by-law, providing oversight and evaluation, and incorporating privacy principles into any potential collection and use of information generated by CAVs. Further, data gathered should be used to inform the implementation and evaluation of this strategic plan and to improve how the City delivers services.

Sub-areas: Data, Business Intelligence


5. Urban Form

The City will plan for the potential impacts and implications of CAVs in context of sustainable urban form, land use, growth, development, placemaking, and the approved London Plan. Actions will focus on properly integrating compact development (i.e. discourage urban sprawl), supportive parking, and related infrastructure into the urban fabric to deliver quality neighbourhoods, main streets, and streetscapes with CAV elements.

Sub-areas: City Structure, Land Use, Parking, Placemaking, London Plan


6. Road Safety and Security

The City will encourage the adoption of CAVs that are supportive of improved road safety. A net benefit to road safety will be achieved through actions that focus on protecting vulnerable users, users with disabilities, preventing collisions, updating infrastructure, and improving emergency response. Actions will address both the knowns and unknowns of CAVs and will look at the ideal policies, technology, standards, and training required to achieve improved safety.

Sub-areas: Complete Streets, Disabled Users, Road Safety, Road Security, Vision Zero, Vulnerable Users


7. Integrated Mobility

The City will encourage the adoption of CAVs as part of a mobility network that serves a person’s individual needs at any given time. Actions will further integrate space-efficient and active modes of travel, support public transit, improve connections within the system, and better manage impacts from the movement of goods. For public and mass transit, actions will encourage the adoption of CAVs for the purpose of improving reliability, efficiency, safety, and seamlessness of transit. Further actions will allow the City to work with its regional partners to ensure that both internal City and external regional transportation networks are integrated for use with CAVs, as well as other multi-modal transportation networks such as bus, rail, and air travel.

Sub-areas: Seamless Mobility, Active Modes, Traffic Impacts, Goods Movement, Public Transit, Smart Streets, Street Design, Public Service Vehicles, Regional Integration, Ownership Models


8. Transportation System Efficiency

The City will incorporate CAV technology in order to increase infrastructure efficiency and enhance its ability to manage traffic in real-time. Actions will be focused on the areas of transportation demand management, curbside management, pricing mechanisms, and utilization of transportation-related data.

Sub-areas: Connected Infrastructure, Curbside Management, Traffic Management, Transportation Efficiency, Transportation Optimization, Transportation Demand Management, Traveler Information


9. City Fleet and Services

The City will enhance its fleet and services through CAVs and related systems for the purpose of improving safety and public service delivery. Actions will evaluate the transformation of fleet vehicles and City services as well as potential impacts to employment and labour needs.

Sub-areas: City Services, Human Resources, Labour, Fleet Vehicles