Driving regional innovation for vehicles of the future
Six sites harness talents and resources for connected and autonomous vehicle technologies
The Ontario government is accelerating innovative connected and autonomous vehicle (C/AV) technologies, talent and capacity by providing funding to six Regional Technology Development Sites (RTDS) across the province as part of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) project.
AVIN builds upon Ontario’s position as a globally-leading automotive manufacturing and supply jurisdiction and the large cluster of information and communication technology (ICT) companies operating in the province, allowing Ontario to reinforce its position as a North American leader in transformative automotive technologies, as well as transportation systems and supporting infrastructure.
“Innovative technologies push the envelope and that’s the goal of the AVIN — bridging state-of-the-art technology, advanced manufacturing, and talent to ensure Ontario’s small- and medium-sized enterprises fuel the evolution of automotive and smart mobility solutions while bringing improvements and efficiencies to Ontario’s transportation systems and the infrastructure that supports them,” said Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO, OCE. “Ontario Centres of Excellence is proud to have a hand in delivering this Ontario government initiative as we work with industry, academia and other stakeholders to improve the way we get around, and position this province as a global leader in connected and automated vehicle technology.”
Regional development sites support small and medium sized enterprises
The creation of the six Regional Technology Development Sites (RTDS) will support and enable small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop, prototype, test and validate new technologies, access specialized equipment, and obtain technical and business advice.
“One of Ontario’s greatest innovation strengths is the vast range of expertise we have to offer, driven by our diverse economy and extensive university and college system,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “These six Regional Technology Development Sites harness our unique innovation talents across the province and will spur collaboration and discovery to enhance Ontario’s position as a leader in the next generation of mobility technologies.”
Each site will support the development of new technologies and will have a unique focus area:
- Durham Region — human machine interface (HMI) and user experience.
Partners:Spark Centre (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), UOIT’s Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE), Durham College and the Region of Durham.
- Hamilton Region— multimodal and integrated mobility.
Partners: Innovation Factory (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with McMaster University, Mohawk College and the City of Hamilton.
- Ottawa Region— vehicular networks and communications.
Partners: Invest Ottawa (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with Carleton University, University of Ottawa, Algonquin College and the City of Ottawa.
- Southwestern Ontario Region(London and Windsor) — vehicle cybersecurity and cross-border technologies.
Partners: Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC) and London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) in collaboration with University of Windsor, University of Western Ontario, Fanshawe College, St. Clair College, City of Windsor, City of London and WETech Alliance and Tech Alliance (both part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs).
- Toronto Region — artificial intelligence for connected and autonomous vehicles
Partners:MaRS Discovery District (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and York University.
- Waterloo Region— high-definition (HD) mapping and localization.
Partners: Communitech (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with the University of Waterloo, Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation and Canada’s Open Data Exchange.
Funded by the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth and the Ministry of Transportation, AVIN brings together industry, academia and government to capitalize on the economic opportunities of connected and autonomous vehicles (C/AV), while supporting the province’s transportation systems and infrastructure in adapting to these emerging technologies.
Automotive, high-tech and advanced manufacturing
“Long-term success in the global economy requires leading in the disruptive technologies that are revolutionizing the way we live, work and travel,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “That’s what the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network does — it weaves together Ontario’s unique talents in automotive, high-tech and advanced manufacturing. The regional sites bring that collaboration to a new level as we zero-in on the specific technological advances the global mobility industry is looking for.”
In partnership with the province, OCE is administering the investment of $80 million over five years in AVIN, which comprises: Six Regional Technology Development Sites (up to $5M each); Demonstration Zone ($5M); AV Research and Development Partnership Fund ($30M); Talent Development Program ($5M); and, Central Hub ($10M).
“The potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies is enormous: reduced congestion; cleaner air; safer roads,” said Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation. “Ontario saw the possibilities and moved quickly, back in 2016 becoming the first Canadian province to permit on-road testing of automated vehicles. Today is another example of our proactive approach to keep Ontario at the forefront of innovation that promotes emerging vehicles and transportation technologies.”