OnBoard Winter 2016 - page 15

To this end, the investments keep coming. This November,
GM announced it will establish an innovation zone
within Waterloo-based Communitech, with an initial
focus on exploring urban mobility and connected car
solutions. Again in November, GM Canada President and
Managing Director, Steve Carlisle, announced $1 million in
donations to the University of Waterloo for two engineering
partnerships: one related to connected car software
development; and two to greener vehicles an area in which
GM has already undertaken significant leadership.
GM is also embracing the concept of ‘urban mobility
systems.’ Right now that looks like ridesharing and car
sharing. GM has implemented a pilot program in New
York City where a fleet of cars is available on demand to
condo owners, as part of their condo fees. Owners reserve
a car by smartphone app, increasing convenience and
reducing road congestion. In Toronto, GM is working with
Autoshare to provide cars for students on five Toronto
campuses. What urban mobility looks like in the future
will be exciting to see. According to Carlisle, “this is
all about problem solving, breaking our old mindsets
and coming up with new ways to get around.” It’s a key
message that should work for the future of the entire
automotive industry.
The Internet, software applications and big data analytics
are having a transformational impact on the automotive
industry. Stakeholders will need to collaborate, innovate
and invest or risk being passed over by a generation
that is choosing innovation in all their life experiences,
including transportation. A forthcoming marriage of
heavy manufacturing and hi-tech, both of which have
strong footings in the Toronto region, has the ability to
bring a new wave of jobs and economic benefits to all. Let’s
not forget to look at the entrepreneurial thinking that is so
alive and well in the region when we next look at ways to
keep our automotive industry thriving.
A snapshot of mostly homegrown mobile, connected and
data-driven technology products and services that could
have big impact on Ontario’s auto sector
Ansik Inc:
the brainchild of three University of Waterloo
grads, this start-up has invented ShockLock and PitStop,
software-based products for faster, cheaper vehicle
maintenance and safer vehicle repairs
an early warning mobile app that alerts
drivers that emergency vehicles are approaching
a completely voice-powered communications
and infotainment platform that can turn driving downtime into
productive time, with safer in-car texting and connectivity
Intelligent Mechatronic Systems:
captures driving data
such as fuel consumption, emissions and driver behaviour in
support of a safer, greener, lower cost vehicle
KeyFree Technologies:
this Toronto start-up aims to replace
traditional car keys with a secure app that enables users to
access their vehicle with a smartphone
an Internet-based, plug-in device that reports
vehicle performance data, enabling individual drivers or fleet
managers to monitor things like fuel consumption, braking,
when an air bag deploys and much more
developed by engineering students at the
University of Waterloo, this unique windshield coating uses
nanotechnology to eliminate winter frost, reduce summer
heat and mitigate stone chips
Pravala Networks:
the Waterloo-based company’s
Connected Vehicle Gateway provides always-on, in-car
network access to the best available or preferred network,
reducing a driver’s data costs
a subsidiary of BlackBerry, the Ottawa-based
technology firm has partnered with Apple and Google for
products like CarPlay and Android Automotive and can provide
Over-The-Air updates for GM, Tesla and PSA Peugeot Citroen
offers an innovative carpool-on-demand
smartphone app that allows drivers and riders going in the
same direction, to easily connect and share rides
based in Waterloo, the company has developed
innovative vehicle-to-vehicle communications capabilities
that can help drivers avoid collisions
Varden Labs:
this University of Waterloo-based team is
developing hardware and software to create self-driving
electric shuttles for simple, affordable transport
Weather Telematics:
this Ottawa company offers a vehicle
sensor system that collects road surface and weather
conditions, allowing drivers to significantly reduce their
risk of weather-related accidents
XYZ Interactive:
a Toronto-based company that produces
low-cost 3D control and gesture recognition technology for
the connected car
Automotive Disruptors:
A to Z
1...,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,...36
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