Connected and autonomous vehicle test track officially launches in Ottawa

Economic development agency Invest Ottawa, working with the Government of Ontario and strategic partners, has officially launched the Ottawa L5 Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Test Facilities. 

The opening of the track is intended to promote the growth of connected and autonomous vehicle firms in Ontario and help to develop new CAV solutions, companies, talent and jobs. The body said that more than three dozen small and medium enterprises and firms are already using the tracks at Ottawa L5 to support connected and autonomous vehicle R&D, commercialisation and testing.

The testing facilities will help companies to address some of the key opportunities and challenges involved in connected and autonomous vehicles, including operations in inclement weather, safety and security, interoperability, data collection and analytics, and connectivity.

“Technology has blurred the line between a car company and a tech company,” said Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

“Ontario is home to over 200 companies developing connected and autonomous vehicle technologies – this places us at a major advantage when it comes to designing and building the next generation of vehicles.”

Ottawa’s climate offers a full range of weather conditions for autonomous vehicle testers, with temperatures that range from +37 to -38 degrees Celsius and harsh winter conditions with heavy snow, sleet and ice.

Ottawa L5 consists of both public and private test tracks for connected and autonomous vehicles, and is equipped with 5G, 4G/LTE, GPS, dedicated short range communications and Wi-Fi telecoms and networking infrastructure.

“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.”

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