Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

My motion to council re: Autonomous Cars in Kanata North

Update November 16:

As the first step, Council approved my motion to request that Ottawa be made a Centre of Excellence for Software in Autonomous Vehicles (as well as a road testing location). I have invited a number of representatives from education, local companies, business associations and government to a roundtable discussion to consider and support recommendations in a White Paper being prepared for submission to the province. Since many companies in the Kanata North Business Park are already involved in software and other aspects of driverless vehicles it makes sense to put the software centre here.   As we move from software to making operating cars safer there will be many opportunities for technology companies, so this could become a significant economic opportunity for Ottawa.  Stay tuned for further information as we move forward on this initiative.

Update November 3: 

City Council approved my motion to apply for a Centre of Excellence in Kanata North that would create a national software hub for autonomous vehicles here, and included the testing of driver-assist and driverless vehicles in our business park. I’m working with many partners to make this a reality.  Much software for vehicles is developed here, with QNX software found in more than 60 million cars worldwide, so it would be natural for such a hub to be located in the Kanata North Business Park. This Centre of Excellence would support many existing companies and foster development of many start-up organizations.

A week ago I tabled a motion at Council to get City support for work being done in the Kanata North Business Park, where a number of companies are involved in developing the software to first improve safety of driver assist software (e.g. to park your car, keep you in your lane) and secondly to permit road testing of Autonomous Vehicles in the Business Park.  The province plans to set up a Centre of Excellence for this technology and since Kanata is already a hub, locating it here makes sense.  Companies like QNX already provide the software for cars around the world and other Kanata companies work on communications aspects.  The head of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE) lives in Kanata and others have provided me with the information used in the motion that is scheduled for debate on Oct. 12th.

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