Ontario opens autonomous vehicle innovation network


As it seeks to position itself as a global leader in autonomous vehicle technologies, Ontario has announced the launch of AVIN, the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network.

AVIN boasts one the first demonstration zones of its kind in Canada, allowing researchers to hone automated vehicle technology and test autonomous vehicles in a wide range of everyday situations.

The AVIN Demonstration Zone was officially opened by Premier Kathleen Wynne, and will benefit from $80 million of government investment over five years.

The province is partnering with Ontario Centres of Excellence in AVIN to capitalise on the economic opportunities of connected and autonomous vehicles. More than 150 Ontario companies and organisations are active in the province’s connected and autonomous vehicle industry.

“This investment leverages Ontario’s expertise in connected and autonomous vehicle technology to define this sector’s long-term future,” said Minister of Economic Development and Growth Brad Duguid.

“Our leading automotive and tech clusters, working alongside academic institutions, are creating the perfect conditions to develop, manufacture and adopt transformative technologies.”

As well as the Demonstration Zone, AVIN includes a Research and Development Partnership Fund aimed at fostering collaboration in developing and commercialising connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

AVIN will also offer a talent development programme to support internships and fellowships with Ontario companies working on connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence, said: “Through developing AVIN, OCE has worked with the Ontario government and our partners to ensure that this investment will help prepare our infrastructure, technology, transportation systems and auto sector for the future of connected and autonomous vehicles, while developing talent and supporting collaborations that will demonstrate and commercialize these technologies.”

Responding to the launch, Andy Manahan, executive director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, said: “Premier Wynne, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca and the Ontario government have proven that they are committed to the future.

“This announcement is a worthwhile initiative. There is a lot we can learn from conducting pilot tests at AVIN, but there is more to be done to usher in a new era for our roads and for improving mobility.”