Autonomous Car Test Is First Of Its Kind In Canada

A BlackBerry QNX-equipped self-driving car hit the road in suburban Ottawa Thursday in what was billed as the first on-street test of an autonomous vehicle in Canada.
The grey Lincoln MKZ pulled away with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, councillor Marianne Wilkinson and John Wall, general manager of BlackBerry QNX, aboard.
BlackBerry QNX opened an autonomous vehicle innovation centre in Ottawa late last year.
“Today is the first public fruits of what we’ve been doing,” Wall said.
The street was closed for the public demonstration, which attracted scores of people, but the car is expected to be operating on city streets in the test area amidst real traffic and pedestrians.
BlackBerry QNX is developing the software foundation for autonomous vehicles, while Wall said others are working on what he called “the brain.”
“In a lot of cases, the OEMs want to own that, so the Fords of this world, the Mercedes of this world, that’s their secret sauce, they’re going to build the brain,” he said.
“We’re going to provide all the infrastructure, the security, the safety, the redundancy, the communication, how the signals come in.”
Automotive and technology companies around the world have been racing to develop self-driving systems.
A demonstration test zone has been announced for Stratford, Ont., as part of the provincial government’s plan to create an Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, with the help of $80 million over five years.
Source: Canadian Press/Craig Wong
Photo: © Provided by

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