Driverlessvehicles and cars wirelessly navigating the information superhighway may soundlike the stuff of science fiction but they are real and they could be coming toOntario roads sooner than you think.
OntarioCentres of Excellence, on behalf of the province’s Ministry of Transportationand Ministry of Research and Innovation, has launched a $1 million program todrive connected and autonomous vehicle technologies to the next level.
The ConnectedVehicle/Autonomous Vehicle (CVAV) Research Program will invest in innovativenew transportation technologies that will make Ontario’s roads smarter, saferand more sustainable while improving traffic flow.
The programbrings businesses and academic institutions together to develop innovations inthis rapidly moving area with a focus on projects with high commercializationpotential. Projects can receive up to $250,000 over a maximum of two years.Funds must be matched with cash and in-kind contributions.
â€œThispartnership with the Government of Ontario will foster innovation and thegrowth of next-generation technologies in the province,â€ says Dr. Tom Corr,OCE’s President and Chief Executive Officer. â€œThrough strategic investments,the CVAV Research Program will produce dynamic partnerships that take researchand development in this area to the next level.â€
Connectedvehicles use wireless technology to connect with other vehicles, transportationinfrastructure and mobile devices to give motorists information that results ina safer drive. Autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles rely on sensors andcomputer analytics to sense their environments and navigate without humaninput.
â€œThis programis going to be a showcase for some of the most innovative research being donein the area of connected and autonomous vehicles anywhere in the world,â€ saysReza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. â€œThe projects flowing fromthis program will not only make Ontario a technology leader, it will create andsustain jobs in the automotive sector.â€
Topics thatwill receive the highest consideration include products, services and standardsto reduce driver distraction; communications management; data management;connected vehicle technology and improving traffic operations and management.
â€œWe are proudto help our partners develop new technologies that improve Ontario’s highwaysand roads and make our province a leader in connected and autonomous vehicles,â€says Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure.â€œThese innovations will help people move more safely and easily while creatingjobs now and in the future.â€
The programbuilds on the successful 2011 Connected Vehicle Research Program, which awardedseven research grants to Ontario universities to explore connected vehicles.
Helping theprovince’s transportation industry grow and succeed is part of the Governmentof Ontario’s plan to invest in people and infrastructure, and support a dynamicand innovative business climate.
AboutOntario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (www.oce-ontario.org)
OntarioCentres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edgeresearch across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secureOntario’s global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training anddevelopment of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a keypartner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals,investors and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies,best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health,information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materialsand manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and theenvironment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in deliveringOntario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network ofEntrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up ofregional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneursand industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more informationvisit www.onebusiness.ca