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Smart City Sentinel

Ontario Launches Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Test Sites

By Ken Briodagh

According to a recent announcement, Invest Ottawa, lead economic development agency for Canada’s Capital for knowledge-based industries, and the Government of Ontario have launched the Ottawa L5 Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Test Facilities. This is designed to catalyze Ottawa’s contribution to the economy, the partners said, and Ontario’s global CAV innovation leadership more broadly, by promoting the growth of CAV firms, and the development new CAV solutions, firms, talent, and high-value jobs. With the fit-up of the Ottawa L5 well underway, more than three dozen SMEs and firms are already using the public and private tracks to support CAV R&D, commercialization and testing.

Currently valued at more than $11 million, the Ottawa L5 leverages:

  • $5 million in anchor provincial investment through the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), an initiative delivered by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) on behalf of the Government of Ontario
  • More than $6 million in in-kind contributions from internationally recognized public and private partners. These include: Accenture; Avanade; Blackberry QNX; the City of Ottawa; Ericsson; Juniper Networks; the National Capital Commission (NCC); Microsoft; and Nokia.

With a strong focus on safety, the Ottawa L5 will enable innovators, entrepreneurs, small- and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) and multinationals to advance the safe development, validation and implementation of CAVs. It will help firms to address key CAV opportunities and challenges including: CAV operations in inclement weather; safety and security; interoperability, data collection and analytics; and connectivity.

These world-class testing grounds enable Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) testing in Ottawa’s true four-season weather climate, with temperatures that range from +37 to -38 degrees Celsius, and harsh winter conditions marked by heavy snow, sleet, and ice.  Comprised of a public and private CAV test track, the Ottawa L5 is equipped with 5G, 4G/LTE, GPS (RTK), dedicated short range communications (DSRC), and Wi-Fi telecommunications and networking infrastructure, making it the first integrated CAV test environment of its kind in North America.

These capabilities, coupled with Ottawa’s globally recognized industry leadership and expertise in CAVs, telecommunications and security, create a powerful environment for innovators, SMEs and multinationals to test, validate and demonstrate V2X CAV technologies and solutions.

The official Ottawa L5 launch brought together hundreds of stakeholders from industry, academia and government, and created the opportunity to experience CAV technology first-hand through live demonstrations on the private CAV test track.

 “It’s great to demonstrate how our CityIQ nodes unlock the potential of smart cities at the Ottawa L5 track.  Current by GE provides the only open digital infrastructure with actional data to help SMEs with commercialization and testing,” said Austin Ashe, Current by GE General Manager Intelligent Cities. Current by GE was a partner in the demonstrations.  




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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