Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Convergence of strength in automotive manufacturing and information and communications technology has led to particular strength in Ontario province.

Ontario is aggressively pursuing its goal of being a global leader in autonomous vehicle technologies, and is enjoying a strong convergence with of its established automotive manufacturing sector (five major OEMs have manufacturing facilities in the province) with its information and communications technology sector, which is one of the largest in North America.

These strengths have been attracting significant investment, including over $1 billion in research investment from Apple, Google, Uber, Ford, GM, FCA and Blackberry QNX. In addition, Ontario is earmarking $80 million over five years to establish the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network project to support industry-led research and development, including a demonstration zone.

These programs focus on supporting the development and demonstration of connected and autonomous vehicle (C/AV) technologies, including infrastructure, related to:

  • commercially ready technologies for application in mass light-vehicles (e.g., cars and trucks, vans);
  • heavy-duty vehicles (including commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, RVs and other types used for goods movement);
  • transportation infrastructure;
  • intelligent transportation systems; and
  • transit-supportive systems and vehicles in Ontario.

Opportunities exist for Wisconsin companies in disruptive technologies including autonomous vehicles, electrification and artificial intelligence. These technologies call for innovative software and security technology, such as crash avoidance technology (vehicle communications with each other and the infrastructure around them). Intelligent solutions will be needed in every area of electronic design as well as embedded intelligence, in-car entertainment software, electronics, interior safety, and materials for passenger vehicle interiors.