Elyse COMEAU and Matthias SWEET
The emergence of automated vehicles (AVs) may potentially transform the ways in
which individuals travel, and integrating the impacts and opportunities of AVs into travel
demand forecasts and transportation planning will be important for wise decisionmaking.
This paper presents findings from focus groups designed to explore Greater
Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) residents’ interest and expected behavioral
responses to AVs. Results suggest that the general public is interested in AVs and
eager to learn more, but that individual travel habits carry significant weight and are
likely to slow the adoption of AVs. The findings from this study emphasize the planner’s
responsibility to engage in consultations internally, within organizations and across
departments, as well as externally, with stakeholders and members of the community
to foster information gathering, dissemination, and knowledge mobilization. On-going
internal and external engagements will first allow organizations to prepare and
consolidate appropriate strategies for this disruptive technology, and second, will keep
the public sphere informed and engaged in the implementation of AVs.