Windsor-London Region Chosen As Self Driving Technology Development Site

Windsor-London has been chosen as one of six Regional Technology Development Sites for autonomous vehicles.

The announcement was made Wednesday by the Ontario Centres of Excellence on behalf of the Ontario government.

Each site will receive $5-million with a total of $80-million being invested in the project over five years.

All six sites will have a unique focus with the Southwestern Ontario site looking at vehicle cybersecurity and cross-border technologies.

The Windsor Essex Economic Development Commission will oversee the program locally.

CEO Stephen MacKenzie says the border is an amazing opportunity for this research.

"Halfway across or thereabouts, you're going to get a ping on your cellphone, which because you're changing, leaving a communications network, there's going to be more charges." says MacKenzie. "So, just imagine autonomous vehicle passenger vehicle or freight and that interface, there's a lot of research going on you know, 5G communication, how does it apply to the border"

He says there will be an application type of process to release the grants.

"If there's research to be done, if there's engagement with industry partners, which our university and college are already doing, then we'll propose projects to apply some of the funds to it and then because, as I mentioned before, there's a need for an industry match."

The project is a partnership between the economic development corporations in both cities, the two universities, the two colleges and tech alliances.

Other sites include the Durham Region, Hamilton, Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo.

— with files from AM800's Peter Langille