Ontario announced that it is supporting innovation in the transportation sector by launching the first automated vehicle (AV) pilot program in Canada, led by The University of Waterloo, the Erwin Hymer Group and BlackBerry QNX.
The WATCar Project at the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Automotive Research, which will monitor a Lincoln MKZ for performance and test it on-road at different levels of automation.
The Erwin Hymer Group, an international auto manufacturer active in the Kitchener-Waterloo tech and innovation corridor, which will test and monitor a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van at different levels of automation.
BlackBerry QNX, a Canadian global software development leader, which will test a 2017 Lincoln with automated features.
Ontario is the first province in Canada to create a pilot regulatory framework to test automated vehicles on its roads. The pilot will help attract and enable research and development in Ontario in this emerging industry, positioning the province as a global leader in the AV market.
Ontario province has provided $2.95 million in funding to support Ontario industry and academia through the Ontario Centres of Excellence Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle Program.
Ontario is one of the top jurisdictions in North America for vehicle production and the only sub-national jurisdiction to have five major global automotive assemblers: Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota, as well as truck manufacturer Hino.
Ontario’s information and communications technology cluster comprises over 19,000 firms and is second only to Silicon Valley in North America.
Ontario’s $400-million Business Growth Initiative is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale up and modernizing regulations for businesses.
The Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle (CVAV) Program encourages businesses and academic institutions to develop and commercialize innovations in connected and automated vehicle technologies that focus on projects demonstrating strong potential for commercialization.
The program is a partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure and Ontario Centres of Excellence.