Today’s auto sector is in a period of rapid technological change and phenomenal transformation and Canada has the potential to play a very significant part in this global wave of innovation. Vehicles are becoming increasingly electric, highly connected, autonomous and a vital part of the sharing economy.
Canada is well positioned to be a global leader in the development of autonomous vehicle software and controls, artificial intelligence, cyber security, active safety and vehicle dynamics technology, infotainment and connected vehicle technology. CVMA members are at the forefront of this exciting new era of vehicle design. Our members are making significant investments to harness Canada’s strong ecosystem of world-class universities, start-ups and innovative suppliers. This translates into thousands of high quality jobs for Canadians.
This accelerated innovation will require a significant degree of coordination with the industry across Canadian jurisdictions and especially between Canada and the United States, with whom we have aligned automotive regulations and standards. Public policy must enable and not hamper innovation while protecting public safety and consumer information privacy.
What’s Been Happening?
“We’re helping Canada create a new generation of automotive engineers.” – Tony Mancina, Head of Engineering, FCA Canada
FCA Canada Inc, has announced a new Vehicle Dynamics Simulator (VDS) lab at its Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC) in Windsor, Ontario. This new technology emulates a vehicle’s driving dynamics in a virtual environment, closely duplicating the actual driving experience for a specific vehicle. Data extracted from the simulator will support engineering to assess ride and handling and make changes earlier in the design process. The VDS represents a $10.1 million investment including support from the Ontario Government. The ARDC began as a $30-million investment over 20 years ago has grown to more than a $1 billion spend on R&D activities in Canada.
“Canada has reinforced its position in Ford’s global operations as the company shifts to lead as both an auto and mobility company.” – Joe Hinrichs, President, Automotive, Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited is expanding its Canadian research and development presence with an additional $500 million investment, extending its connectivity leadership with the addition of more than 300 software and hardware engineers and the creation of its first-ever Ottawa Research and Engineering Centre to focus on research and development across infotainment, in-vehicle modems, gateway modules, driver-assist features and autonomous vehicles. Recently, Ford has announced $1.2 billion in Canadian investments, including a $700 million investment in its manufacturing facilities.
“Just as in manufacturing there’s a big supply chain, there’s quite a sophisticated supply chain that goes with the technology side as well. We like that in Canada.” – David Paterson, Vice President, Corporate & Environmental Affairs, General Motors of Canada Company
General Motors Company Canada has increased research and development and expanded its engineering workforce in Canada for key future automotive technologies to a total of about 1,000 engineering positions, working in the areas of active safety and autonomous vehicle development software. This work is being carried out in Oshawa, Markham, Kitchener, Waterloo, Toronto, and Kapuskasing. Further, GM will be investing $10 million in its Kapuskasing Cold Weather testing facility to enhance their engineering capability to conduct important testing for a wide range of new GM products and technologies.