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The car is an established idea. The contents of a car and what should and should not be in a car are well regulated and have well accepted standards – both for law makers and car buyers.

Even the rules we impose on the drivers of vehicles are well established. There is a long series of courses, tests and probation periods that must be completed prior to setting off in a vehicle as a solo driver.

This is not quite the case for the self-driving car.

While the nomenclature presents an image of no one behind the wheel and the car performing the operations magically, the reality is that the software in the vehicle is now the driver. A “driver” that makes decisions based on inputs from sensors and pre-determined values to designate certain events.

Kanata North Could be the Next Test Bed for Self-Driving Technology

In Kanata, QNX and Ford are working closely on the idea of a self-driving car and Kanata could be the location that a large-scale testing takes place.

This could also mean more jobs and a greater acquisition of talent in BlackBerry QNX’s Innovation Drive office. Here’s what John Wall recently said in an Ottawa Citizen article:

“We’re in the right space at the right time,” he said, adding that hiring an additional 650 people is going to be a tough hill for the company to climb given the competitive climate for technology talent in the nation’s capital. “My goal is to hire at the highest velocity I can.”

Here’s what Jenna Sudds of the Kanata North BIA recently said in an interview with CBC:

“We’re the largest technology park in Canada, and if you can think of any early adopters, we have 21,000 of them in this vicinity. So, the concept isn’t foreign to them, it’s exciting to them.

With QNX being located here, and really being a dominant player across the world in automobile software systems, as well as other parts, it’s quite exciting times.”

QNX, while being known for the operating system for several BlackBerry handsets, is a Unix-based platform and achieves a much more secure environment than its counter parts due to its micro-kernel technology.

With a focus on security, and the already thriving hacking competitions focused solely on cracking vehicle operating systems, the self-driving car will make security much more prominent when deciding who will be the major software companies that will be driving tomorrow’s vehicles.

Local and Provincial Laws Align for Driver-Less Technology

With over 45 companies in the works to perfect the concept of self-driving technology, finding suitable testing grounds is a difficult task. Councilor for Kanata Marianne Wilkinson is pushing for Kanata North to be the next testing ground for self-driving vehicles.

In January 2016, Ontario become the first Canadian jurisdiction to allow automated vehicles to be tested on its road. This, coupled with the partnership of Ford and QNX, makes Kanata North prime for testing grounds for this technology.

We can’t wait to see how Canada’s Capital and our partnership with Invest Ottawa will play a part in pushing this technology forward making our city the AV Capital.


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