Canadian Manufacturing

CUTRIC launches research group for autonomous mass transit

The primary goal of funding, $1.1 million from partners and the feds, is to enable autonomous shuttles to serve transit-starved communities



From left to right: Heather Pratt, executive director, research & innovation, University of Windsor; Dr. Mitra Mirhassani, associate professor, University of Windsor; Dr. Josipa Petrunic, Executive Director and CEO, CUTRIC
Photo: Tory James

WINDSOR, Ont. — The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), a researcher and developer of mobility and transportation technology, announced over $1.1 million in funding from its partners and the federal government to establish the National Academic Cluster for Smart Vehicles (NAC-SV).

CUTRIC and its members are contributing $797,900 in funding, with an additional $306,500 coming through the federally supported Mitacs Accelerate and Mitacs Career Connect programs, and through ECO Canada and BioTalent Canada.

CUTRIC says NAC-SV is designed to standardize technology associated with autonomous and connected vehicles for use in transit and mass-mobility, bringing together several manufacturers of small, autonomous transit vehicles known as shuttles. The goal is to allow manufacturers to coordinate short-range vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, improve cybersecurity, develop software to manage digitized shuttle fleets, and use standardized charging systems.

“These shuttles service Canadians by filling a critical gap in our transit system and providing a much-needed service on routes that are too small to justify a bus route,” explained Josipa Petrunic, executive director and CEO of CUTRIC, in a prepared statement. “Smart electric shuttles can provide the flexibility and cost efficiency needed to get Canadians to a transit hub.”


Related: CUTRIC partners with post-secondary institutions on electric bus research


Irek Kusmierczyk, member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh, also spoke about the research group, to be located at the University of Windsor. “This investment will advance environmental sustainability and help develop the talent necessary in Windsor-Essex to accelerate our local and national cleantech sector, drive job creation and fuel our region’s prosperity.”

NAC-SV aims to achieve multi-manufacturer interoperability so that cities and transit agencies can mix and match autonomous shuttles on the same routes.

Project partners include 2GetThere, ABB, Bombardier, Carleton University, CUTA, EasyMile, eCamion, Kingston Transit, London Transit, NAVYA, Pacific Western Transit, Queen’s University, SmartCone, St. Catharine’s Transit, Thales Group, Transit Windsor, University of Quebec-Trois Rivieres, University of Calgary, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Windsor and Woodstock Transit.

Related Posts from the network