OVIN, Toronto agree to test autonomous, EV and mobility tech in new pilot zone
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EV Supply Chain
May 29, 2024
Mehanaz Yakub

Small- and medium-size Ontario businesses can get up to $100,000 in matching funds to pilot solutions to urban mobility issues

The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) is launching a Technology Pilot Zone Project to test solutions addressing transportation challenges unique to the City of Toronto. Photo: City of Toronto

Small- and medium-size Ontario businesses can get up to $100,000 in matching funds to pilot solutions to urban mobility issues

The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) is launching a Technology Pilot Zone Project to test solutions addressing transportation challenges unique to Toronto and Canada’s other large metropolitan areas.

An agreement between OVIN and the City of Toronto will allow eligible small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to test new technologies in real-life city environments. The piloting technologies will address urban mobility issues such as pedestrian safety, congestion management and outdated infrastructure.

“As Ontario and Canada’s economic and tech powerhouse and largest metropolitan area, the City of Toronto is uniquely positioned to adopt innovative urban mobility technologies that will facilitate safer, cleaner, and more efficient transportation,” says Raed Kadri, head of OVIN, in a press statement.

During the pilot, SMEs may receive up to $100,000 in funding, provided an industry contribution matches it. The businesses will use the money to integrate Ontario-made connected, autonomous, and electric vehicle technologies with urban infrastructure. These technologies will be supported by 5G wireless connectivity and artificial intelligence.

The pilot will use some examples of these technologies:

  • Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) for passenger transport or delivery services;
  • EV charging technologies;
  • Accessibility solutions for persons with disabilities;
  • Dynamic signage and traffic signals; and
  • Road safety solutions for vulnerable road users.

After the pilot phase, the City of Toronto will have the option to procure the technologies that improve the city’s efficiency.

Federal investments in pilot zones

The Toronto Technology Pilot Zone Project is part of an $8-million investment from the federal government to OVIN in February. The investment aims to establish two live-environment piloting sites in southern Ontario.

The second site is in Windsor/Sarnia. That location will focus on developing transportation solutions for the safe and efficient flow of people and goods across borders.

Over 40 SMEs will pilot and commercialize more than 40 new technologies at both sites.

“The work done through OVIN’s pilot zones is vital to the growth of Canada’s EV and CAV technology and manufacturing sector, and the health of our communities and environment,” says Filomena Tassi, minister responsible for the federal economic development agency for Southern Ontario in the press note.

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