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Stratford Assumes Leading Role In Auto Tech Sector

(WINDSOR, ON) – Windsor is again sitting on the outside as other communities, some with no links to the automotive industry, take leadership roles in the development of technology for autonomous vehicles.

Yesterday at Queen’s Park, Ontario’s Finance Minister Charles Sousa, introduced his much awaited 2017 budget. On the technology of self-driving cars, Sousa said the province will, “… continue to lead the way in the auto sector.”

He then introduced a plan to invest $80 million to create the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network. This network, Sousa explained, will include, “… a new Demonstration Zone in Stratford to test this new technology.”

This is the third time unlucky for Canada’s former automotive capital.

Stratford will join Ottawa, were Blackberry QNX is expected to start testing self-driving cars this summer, and Oshawa, where General Motors Canada will rely on its Canadian Regional Engineering Centre to test and build the company’s next generation of autonomous driving technology.

As part of the project, GM also established a laboratory presence at the University of Waterloo’s Communitech accelerator. The research done at the accelerator will be linked to its self-driving efforts in Oshawa.

So far, no projects of such major significance in autonomous driving are slated for Windsor despite the city’s plan in January to send a letter appealing to join Ford in its work in the technology. There has been no publicly announced response to the letter although, in March, Ford did announce it is setting up a new research and development centre in Ottawa to also develop autonomous driving technology.

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