The Government of Ontario and economic development agency Invest Ottawa have officially opened the new Ottawa L5 connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) test track and facilities in Kanata North Technology Park, Canada.
“The city recognizes the tremendous opportunity this presents to grow and diversify our local economy,” said Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa. “Not only are we demonstrating that Ottawa is a global leader in autonomous vehicles; we will also capitalize on the facility by testing new technologies that will help improve the lives of our residents.”
The world-class testing grounds enable vehicle-to-everything (V2X) testing in Ottawa’s true four-season weather climate, with temperatures that range from +37°C to -38°C, and harsh winter conditions marked by heavy snow, sleet and ice. Comprising 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 infrastructure, making it the first integrated CAV test environment of its kind in North America.
These capabilities create a powerful environment for innovators, SMEs and multinationals to test, validate and demonstrate V2X CAV technologies and solutions. This will increase the competitiveness of firms that put these capabilities to work, helping them to further capitalize on the growing CAV global market.
“The Ottawa L5 and our CAV programs showcase the very best of what Ottawa has to offer: R&D capability; system-wide collaboration among academia, government and industry; and a drive to do big things in world markets,” said Michael Tremblay, president and CEO, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards.
“The Ottawa L5 will help innovators and firms capitalize on this opportunity, reinforce our collective leadership in this field, and create long-term economic benefit for our region, Ontario and Canada more broadly.”
Currently valued at more than C$11m (US$8m), the Ottawa L5 project leverages C$5m (US$3.7m) 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; and more than CA$6m (US$4.4m) in in-kind contributions from public and private partners, including Accenture, Avanade, Blackberry QNX, the City of Ottawa, Ericsson, Juniper Networks, the National Capital Commission (NCC), Microsoft, and Nokia.
“The Ottawa L5 is one of the most exciting autonomous vehicle projects and we are thrilled to join forces with Invest Ottawa to help foster innovation and growth in the nation’s capital,” said Jason Hermitage, vice president public sector, Microsoft Canada.
“Our mission at Microsoft is to empower every person on the planet to achieve more, and programs like Ottawa L5 do exactly that. The groundbreaking discoveries made at this state-of-the-art facility will help positively impact the future of autonomous driving.”
John Wall, senior vice president and co-head, BlackBerry Technology Solutions, BlackBerry, added, “Autonomous vehicles and the smart cities they drive in will only reach their full potential if the industry comes together to address future pot holes that will come from a lack of cybersecurity and data privacy. The Ottawa L5 provides the perfect forum to help address these challenges and ensure that the technologies that will drive our shared autonomous future are both safe and secure.”