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The Kanata North BIA, the Embassy of Switzerland and the Swiss Business Hub Canada held a day of collaboration and learning regarding emerging mobility and transit technologies.

The one-day workshop, titled “Shaping the Mobility Revolution,” had both Swiss and Canadian leaders advancing AV technology and policy present solutions as well as the government policy and consumer trust ramifications this nascent area presents.

The event provided a critical opportunity for Swiss and Canadian companies to evaluate potential avenues of collaboration and see where they can complement each other. The day culminated with a tour of the technology park.

Markus Reubi, head of the Swiss Business Hub Canada, says the delegation is keen on exchanging best practices and learning more about what kinds of AV technologies Canadian companies are developing.

Reubi notes that the exchanging of ideas have only happened on the federal level, between the Swiss and Canadian transportation ministers.

He says this was an opportunity to expand that relationship and bring in more players, including those from the private sector.

“We are pleased to bring business and government agencies together in Kanata to unlock the potential for collaboration,” Reubi adds.

He says the organization sought out the Kanata North BIA as an event partner because of the wealth of companies working on AV technologies in the region, and its trailblazing role within Canada.

Consumer reaction to autonomous vehicles

Innovations in connected, autonomous and electric vehicles are on the rise in Switzerland, according to Reubi. Research findings from a 14-month autonomous shuttle project in the Swiss district of Sion, the first of its kind in Europe, will be presented at the event.

Reubi says more projects of this kind need to be conducted prior to mass adoption.

“It’s not ready to roll out on a broad scale – we lack information and data. One area in particular to focus on is how customers, on transit for example, will react when the operator is removed.”

It’s critical to create trust and create more spaces to collect more information, he adds.

Barrie Kirk, President of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence, also participated in the conversation around policy. The group is a collection of government agencies, private companies and industry associations who are looking to promote the advancement of AV technology in Canada.

The event also coincides with the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Congress that took place in Montreal. This year’s theme is “Driving Smart Cities,” in which mobility solutions such as automated and connected vehicles will be on display.

The Swiss delegation was in attendance to exchange and discuss best practices, and
the Swiss Ambassador to Canada, Beat Nobs, was in attendance to offer opening remarks, as will Karen McCrimmon, Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton.

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