This week I had the pleasure of witnessing the first testing of an autonomous vehicle (AV) on a public street in Canada.
I’m proud to say that test was done right here in our city and that this is just the first of many tests to come.
It was really something special to see the BlackBerry QNX concept car driving on a public street, even stopping at a traffic light at a pedestrian crossing.
All this was made possible through the installation of special technology in the traffic lights and re-painted lines in the area.
Until Thursday, the testing of autonomous vehicles had only been done in closed, segregated areas.
The City of Ottawa is working hard to become a Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Vehicles, a highly competitive designation that will allow further advancement of driverless car testing.
The City and BlackBerry QNX are working with groups like Invest Ottawa, the Kanata North Business Association and researchers at Algonquin, Carleton and uOttawa to reach this goal.
Together, we will be able to bring the newest AV technologies, products, services and applications developed right her in Ottawa to the global market.
In the next phase of the project, Nokia will be adding LTE and 5G to the route.
- There are over 70 companies in Ottawa’s autonomous vehicle ecosystem, led by BlackBerry QNX, that are directly contributing their expertise, technology and intelligence to connected cars and autonomous vehicles.
- The test route is made possible by many partners working together:
- BlackBerry QNX, a leading developer of mission-critical software that forms the foundation for connected and autonomous vehicles, will use the test route to further advance its software and technology development in this field. BlackBerry QNX’s operating system also powers the traffic management system used by the City’s Traffic Services.
- NovAtel’s GNSS GPS base station, installed on BlackBerry QNX’s building, and Codha’s DSRC technology, installed in the City traffic lights, can communicate directly with authorized AVs, and enable them to take appropriate action.
- In-kind contributions and donations of AV technology and systems from other leading industry partners including NovAtel and Codha Wireless.
- Critical funding and support from the City of Ottawa, Invest Ottawa, the lead economic development agency for the National Capital Region, and the Kanata North Business Association, which is home to Canada’s largest technology park.
- Ottawa is home to BlackBerry QNX’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre
- The BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC) was created to advance technology innovation for connected and autonomous vehicles, independently as well as in collaboration with private and public sector organizations and research institutes.
- Building on the company’s 20 years of experience and leadership in the automotive industry, the centre will germinate new ideas and transform innovative concepts into reality through advanced engineering projects and demonstration vehicles tested on real roads.
- Carleton Research has recently secured funding from the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP). As part of the program, which is led by Defense Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science and in partnership with Public Safety Canada, Carleton Research will be given $974,000 over three years for research on securing new connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
- To help aid the University’s research, BlackBerry QNX has signed a charter with Carleton University to provide technical expertise in the area of automotive software development.