Are there laws and regulations governing the operation of automated robots or autonomous robots in public spaces in US/Canada?
For example, an autonomous vehicle in the highway may sound dangerous if not done properly, but if done properly can be safe. I'd imagine there be a law?
I'd imagine that you'd meet up with a couple of wide shouldered guys in blue pretty fast, if you did something like that
Besides Asimovs "Robot Laws", which you always need to follow anyway, for your particular example, I'd guess you should study the traffic laws of where ever you are. I'm not familiar with US regulations on this, but common sense tells me they won't be much different around the world considering unmanned vehicles.
You might be able to apply for a permit, probably only for a limited area though, if you can convince The Powers That Be about the (hopefully) innocent purpose and that you have some research/development interest - apart from that, I'd expect something in the range of heavy fining to a trip up the river.
Besides... Would you dare - One single semiconductor (out of millions involved) failing, could put you at the bad end of a lawsuit that might break you for life.
I wouldn't risk it in The Land of Lawsuits and I've been around the block a few times when it comes to making things safe by redundancy.
At least go chat up a lawyer that specialize in traffic laws and regulations before you go nuts