Autonomous Vehicle Company to Test Technology at Children's Safety Village

A Windsor-based autonomous vehicle company has teamed up with the Children's Safety Village.

Optimotive Technologies is building a second-generation vehicle with an improved platform and improved sensors.

Founder and CEO Scott Fairley says their vehicle is designed to operate in harsh weather, such as snow.


Second generation Optimotive Technologies test vehicle, March 4, 2019 (Photo courtesy of Optimotive Technologies)

He calls the safety village perfect for testing their technology.

"The safety village's little city in the back provides all the types of assets that we would need such as road lines, stop signs and street signs, everything you encounter in a day-to-day environment. It allows us to test in a safe and enclosed area," says Fairley.

He says other autonomous technology is not able to handle difficult weather conditions.

"They fail to function in areas of harsh weather environment and that can be seen not only on a full scale autonomous vehicle but on the very, very basic safety features that you would find in a car such as lane departure warning," says Fairley.  "The second that you lose sight of the road lines, they all fail to function."


Optimotive Technologies CEO Scott Fairley, Institute for Border Logistics and Security, November 2, 2018 (by AM800's Peter Langille)

But he says it will still be several months before testing begins.

"Of course we're not going to have harsh weather in the next five to six month period, so we're going to miss the season unfortunately," says Fairley. "We really want to take our time on the engineering side of things and make sure this is a properly safe vehicle, so we can explore the safety village option. So we really want to take it slow, want to take our time, don't want to rush things."

Fairley says several auto companies have expressed an interest in the technology, but he wants to wait until it's patented before they share it.

The Children's Safety Village is located at 7911 Forest Glade Dr. in Windsor.