Canadian Manufacturing

Ontario offers up $1M for homegrown autonomous vehicle tech

Looking for projects that reduce driver distraction, improve traffic operation and management


TORONTO—Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) has launched a $1-million program aimed at developing autonomous and connected vehicle technologies in the province.

Launched on behalf of the provincial transportation and research and innovation, the program will provide cash to projects that will improve traffic flow and safety of Ontario’s roads.

The program aims to bring business and academia together to develop innovations in the burgeoning connected and autonomous vehicle technology streams with high potential for commercialization.

Connected vehicles use wireless technology to connect with other vehicles, infrastructure and mobile devices, while autonomous vehicles rely on sensors and computer analytics to travel with little human input.

“This program is going to be a showcase for some of the most innovative research being done in the area of connected and autonomous vehicles anywhere in the world,” Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi said in a statement.

“The projects flowing from this program will not only make Ontario a technology leader, it will create and sustain jobs in the automotive sector.”

OCE said projects that will receive the highest consideration include products, services and standards to reduce driver distraction; communications management; data management; connected vehicle technology; and improve traffic operation and management.

“We are proud to help our partners develop new technologies that improve Ontario’s highways and roads and make our province a leader in connected and autonomous vehicles,” Transportation Minister Glen Murray said.

“These innovations will help people move more safely and easily while creating jobs now and in the future.”

Eligible projects will receive as much as $250,000 over a maximum of two years.

Funds must be matched with cash and in-kind contributions.

The program builds on the Connected Vehicle Research Program (CVRP) launched in 2011, which awarded seven research grants to Ontario universities to explore connected vehicles.

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