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A Kanata-based AV consultant is spearheading the creation of the Canadian Autonomous Vehicles Institute (CAVI) to support and promote Canada’s autonomous vehicle capabilities and ready the country for the arrival of AVs.

Scheduled to launch in early 2019, the not-for-profit, industry-led organization – modelled after similar institutes in Australia and the Netherlands – will help Canada gain more recognition for its work in AV, says CAVCOE executive director Barrie Kirk.

“There’s a lot of really good things happening in Canada in the AV and CV ecosystem,” he says. “We’re not waving the flag enough at an international level.”

International recognition aside, he says there’s also a lot to be done to help bring together Canada’s “fragmented” AV hubs.

“Through CAVI, we can provide inputs to the policy planning by all levels of government,” says Kirk. “I think we need to knit together the Canadian autonomous and connected vehicle ecosystem better than it is now and at the same time link it to the rest of the world.”

The founding partners of CAVI speak to the national focus of the institute: the Alberta Council of Technologies, CAVCOE, DOT Technology, Kanata North Business Association, Invest Ottawa, and movmi. With companies like these and the emergence of AV test beds across Canada, Kirk says CAVI does not intend to replicate any of the work already being done. Instead, the institute will perform research and help advance what’s already going on both nationally and internationally.

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