Automated Vehicles - Driving Innovation in Ontario

Beginning January 1, 2016, Ontario is launching a new pilot to allow for the testing of automated vehicles on Ontario's roads.

What is an automated vehicle?

AVs are driverless or self-driving vehicles that are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates.

Why is Ontario pilot testing automated vehicles?

AVs have the potential to deliver environmental, economic, social and safety benefits, including: decreased GHG emissions tied to enhanced mobility; reduced traffic congestion and improved flow of goods and services; minimized driver error, distraction and increased road safety; expanded employment through a made-in-Ontario AV supply chain; fostering potential in the academic, R&D sector.

About the pilot:

  • This pilot is restricted to testing purposes only;
  • The pilot will run for 10 years and include interim evaluations;
  • Only vehicles manufactured and equipped by approved applicants are permitted;
  • The driver must remain in the driver's seat of the vehicle at all times and monitor the vehicle's operation;
  • The driver must hold a full class licence for the type of vehicle being operated;
  • Eligible participants must have insurance of at least $5,000,000;
  • All current Highway Traffic Act rules of the road and penalties will apply to the driver/vehicle owner; and,
  • Vehicles must comply with SAE Standard J3016 and any requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada) that apply to automated driving systems for the vehicle's year of manufacture.

For the purposes of Ontario's testing pilot, "automated vehicle" means: a motor vehicle, commercial motor vehicle, or a street car, with an automated driving system that operates at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International driving automation Level 3, 4 or 5.

Those eligible to participate in the pilot include auto manufacturers defined within the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada), technology companies, academic and research institutions and a manufacturer of parts, systems, equipment or components for automated driving systems.

To participate in Ontario’s pilot program, please fill out the application form. The online application form will be reviewed by the Ministry of Transportation for approval. If approved, a signed copy of the form will be sent back to applicant --a copy of the signed application form will need to be kept in all vehicles participating in the pilot program at all times.

For full details of the pilot project, please see Ontario Regulation 306/15.

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