Ontario Creating Opportunity with Cars of the Future
New Network Highlights Province as a Global 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 officially opened the AVIN Demonstration Zone today, 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.
“AV technology is advancing at an incredible pace. There’s no doubt that the cars of the future will soon be our reality in Ontario and around the world. We have an opportunity to make sure our province is a global leader in this revolution, continuing to draw C/AV investment and jobs to Ontario with our highly skilled workforce. By drawing from our province’s tremendous pool of talent, we are bringing together academia and industry to develop the next generation of transportation technology — all right here in Ontario.”
“Ontario is a global leader when it comes to research and innovation, especially in areas fundamental to the next generation of vehicles, such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and cloud computing. The newly created Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network brings these attributes together so Ontario can continue to lead as we create the transportation solutions of tomorrow.”
“Connected and automated vehicle technologies demonstrate opportunities to enhance road safety and reduce traffic congestion and pollution. Ontario’s comprehensive approach, encompassing smart regulation and strengthening our innovation ecosystem, is ensuring the province proactively shapes and promotes emerging vehicle and transportation technologies to help meet our goals. AVIN is a significant step forward to ensure the investments and planning we are making in building Ontario’s transportation infrastructure network now meets the demands of the future.”
“This investment leverages Ontario’s expertise in connected and autonomous vehicle technology to define this sector’s long-term future. Our leading automotive and tech clusters, working alongside academic institutions, are creating the perfect conditions to develop, manufacture and adopt transformative technologies.”
“This announcement is a recognition of the strategic investments Stratford has made, through Festival Hydro, Rhyzome Networks and investStratford, in becoming an intelligent, forward-thinking community. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to help develop new economies, update important infrastructure, and drive innovation around the connected and autonomous vehicle.”
“Ontario is a global leader in both innovation and the auto sector, so it only makes sense that as we look to the future we continue to drive growth and opportunity in both of these areas by launching the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network. Through developing AVIN, OCE has worked with the Ontario government and our partners to ensure that this investment will help prepare our infrastructure, technology, transportation systems and auto sector for the future of connected and autonomous vehicles, while developing talent and supporting collaborations that will demonstrate and commercialize these technologies.”
Dr. Tom Corr