As part of its ongoing efforts to develop multi-community partnerships that support the local and provincial economy through applied research, Durham College (DC) has been named as a partner in the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) project in this week’s announcement from Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).
The college will be a collaborator in the Regional Technology Development Site (RTDS) located in Durham Region. With six sites established as part of the project, DC will contribute by helping to support and enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop, prototype, test and validate new technologies, access specialized equipment, and obtain technical and business advice in developing transformative automotive technologies. DC’s role will be to focus on the human machine interface (HMI) and user experience by providing technology companies access to faculty expertise, student talent and state-of-the-art research facilities, thus helping them develop autonomous vehicle capabilities in a safe and controlled environment.
In partnership with the province, OCE is administering an investment of up to $5 million over five years to Durham Region’s RTDS.
“We are thrilled about this opportunity to continue our engagement with industry and community organizations in a new and exciting way,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, DC. “We look forward to using that expertise to support the goals of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network.”
The college’s ongoing experience in machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, means it is well equipped to assist in the development of in-car services unique to autonomous vehicles. This could range from developing multimodal data displays containing details about how the car is performing and reminding owners about maintenance schedules, to providing immediate, real-time information about the objects, buildings, signs and traffic patterns along the route.
This multi-community partnership builds on the well-established relationship DC already has with OCE. As one of the college’s primary funders for applied research, OCE is a trusted partner of government in program delivery. The organization has worked with DC to support projects including IFTech Inventing Future Technology Inc. and multiple initiatives focusing on research into how “narrow AI” can help the productivity and growth of SMEs.
Funded by the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth and the Ministry of Transportation, AVIN brings together industry, academia and government to capitalize on the economic opportunities of connected and autonomous vehicles, while supporting the province’s transportation systems and infrastructure in adapting to these emerging technologies. DC is looking forward to working with Spark Centre (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs), the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), UOIT’s Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) and the Region of Durham.