Network aims to assert Ontario as leader in autonomous vehicle technologies
Ontario is reinforcing its status as a go-to destination for developing automated vehicles by launching AVIN, the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, in Stratford. This unique demonstration zone is among the first of its kind in Canada and will allow researchers to hone the technology and test an AV in a wide range of everyday, real-life traffic scenarios.
Premier Kathleen Wynne recently opened the AVIN Demonstration Zone, seeing first-hand how the space will help researchers continue to improve this cutting-edge technology. The province is partnering with Ontario Centres of Excellence in AVIN, which will bring together industry and academia to capitalize on the economic opportunities of connected and autonomous vehicles (C/AV), while developing the emerging technology and infrastructure.
Ontario is uniquely positioned to lead in C/AV technologies and to attract related investments and jobs. The province is North America’s top vehicle-producing jurisdiction, and second only to California for information and communications technology companies.
C/AV technology has the potential to improve road safety and fuel efficiency, minimize driver distraction, and reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the Demonstration Zone, AVIN includes a:
- Research and Development Partnership Fund, to foster collaboration among automakers, technology leaders and Ontario-based small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and commercialize C/AV technologies. Collaborations may also involve postsecondary institutions and municipalities
- Talent Development Program, to support internships and fellowships for students and recent graduates with Ontario companies advancing C/AV technologies
- Central Hub, a new online destination and specialized team to act as a focal point to conduct research, share information, build connections and raise awareness among industry, research institutions and other interested C/AV stakeholders.
Investing in leading-edge technology is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The government is investing $80 million over five years in AVIN.
- More than 150 Ontario companies and organizations are active in the province’s C/AV industry, employing almost 10,000 people.
- Connected vehicles use wireless technology to link with other vehicles, transportation infrastructure and mobile devices, giving drivers easier access to the information they need to drive safely.
- Two vehicles equipped with made-in-Ontario technology recently completed North America’s first national, cross-border automated vehicle test drive.
- Ontario plans to increase the number of postsecondary students graduating in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines by 25 per cent over the next five years, to 50,000 per year. This will give Ontario the highest number per capita of postsecondary STEM graduates in North America.