Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 21

21

* JUNE 2018

Stratford's connectivity investment pays off
Autonomous-testing hub grows after town
installs communications technology

By STEPHANIE WALLCRAFT

to medium enterprises] to demonstrate their technology to a customer
because there is infrastructure available."
A SERIES OF QUICK, SAVVY
Stratford installed streetlights
capitalizations on opportunity are
equipped to handle vehicle-to-inframaking the town of Stratford, Ont.,
structure communication technoloan epicentre for autonomous-vehicle
gy, meaning that autonomous vehitesting.
cles can communicate
The town has
with them. The city
attracted significant
is ensuring that data
volumes of both public
coverage around the
and private investment
Stratford area extends
in less than 12 months.
to current and potenThis comes in part due
tial testing sites and
to its fortuitous locais fast and responsive.
tion between the headAlso, the province of
quarters of automakOntario is investing
ers in Detroit and the
$80 million over five
Waterloo-area research
years in Stratford.
hub being created by
"We saw the
Blackberry and the
announcement of the
University of Waterloo.
Quebec-Ontario 5G
It also stems from the
testing corridor, and
Stratford Mayor Dan
willingness of town
I would say that very
Mathieson welcomes
leadership to invest in
much interested us,"
outgoing
Ontario
Premier
connectivity.
said Stratford Mayor
Kathleen Wynne to tour the
"Where Stratford
autonomous-vehicle test site. Dan Mathieson.
has done quite a bit
TORONTO CORRESPONDENT

P H O T O : C I T Y O F S T R AT F O R D

is ... investments that
allowed them to have
a more connected and more digital
infrastructure," Raed Kadri, director of automotive technology and
mobility innovation for the ‎Ontario
Centres of Excellence, told Automotive
News Canada. "That will allow [small

YEAR-ROUND R&D

On the private
side, Stratford is now home to a fouracre (16,000-square-metre) autonomous-vehicle testing facility, operated under a three-year lease by
Renesas Electronics America. The
completed testing ground opened in

Why vehicle-infrastructure tech matters
By STEPHANIE WALLCRAFT
TORONTO CORRESPONDENT

STRATFORD'S INVESTMENT
in the infrastructure side of vehicle-to-infrastructure technology
is a key factor in making it a leader in autonomous-vehicle testing, said John Buszek of Renesas
Electronics America.
Even though the technology is
not widely available, it is important to create in-car systems that
use it, he said,
"We can't tailor our development towards [vehicle-to-infrastructure communication] because
you never know when you're going
to have it, but when you do have

it, you certainly want to use it
because it's almost like cheating in
a sense," he said.
"Just imagine if every single
person driving was on the phone
with you, and before they did
something dumb you were already
talking to them and could find out.
That's essentially what you have
with all these radios. You know
what the traffic light is going to do
before you get to it.
"If someday people's phones are
pumping out their position in a car
- could not just see them but actually have a radio link with them
- just imagine how much safer
everything could potentially be."
- ANC

Autonomous vehicles are tested by Renesas Electronics America and the
University of Waterloo at a private test track leased by Renesas.
P H O T O : U N I V E R S I T Y O F W AT E R L O O

ONTARIO'S NETWORK
2017. Renesas, a Japan-based supplier of microcontrollers, is seeking to
In terms of public investment,
improve the speed and energy efficienOntario announced last November
cy of chips for advanced driver assisthe Autonomous Vehicle Innovation
tance systems (ADAS) and autonoNetwork. In partnermous driving.
ship with the not"There are many
for-profit governlow-speed scenarios
ment-funded Ontario
where you don't need
Centres of Excellence
huge stretches of pave(OCE) program, the
ment to test, like difNetwork is intended
ferent types of parkto create a dedicated
ing scenarios," said
location where compaJohn Buszek, director
nies developing autonfor ADAS and autonoomous technology can
mous-driving systems
demonstrate products
at Renesas Electronics
to potential customers.
America. "A lot of that
Whether they would
we've been able to test
take place in a private
on that parking lot. It's
facility or on public
been going very well."
roads is yet to be deter"It has been very
mined. Regardless,
good for our developthe vehicles involved
ment," said Nikolas
are not intended to be
Nikolas Stewart, autonoStewart, autonounoccupied and fully
mous-vehicles program
mous-vehicles proautonomous at this
manager at the University of
gram manager at
stage.
Waterloo, values the opporthe ‎University of
"It's about making
Waterloo, which is one tunity for year-round testing. sure that we connect
P H O TO : U N I V E R S I T Y O F WAT E R L O O
of Renesas's primary
supply and demand,"
research partners.
Kadri said. "It's about
"You get wireless, a warm place
providing a platform for small and
to work in the wintertime, and [the
medium-sized enterprises, once
city provides] snowplows to come and
they've done their development work,
clean up the track for us so we can
to liaise with potential customers."
work all year round. It's not just conThe network is expected to be
fined to when the weather is optimal."
operational this summer. - ANC

Canadians' credit maxing out; BMO expects borrowing to slow
Five-year-plus loans
have increased to
two-thirds of the market
from one-third since 2010
By JOHN IRWIN
TORONTO BUREAU

NIAGARA FALLS, ONT. -
Canadians are taking on more debt,
but total debt might be close to peaking, said Douglas Porter, chief economist for the BMO Financial Group.
Canadians have taken on bigger

mortgages, more credit-card debt and
longer-term auto loans, Porter said at
the Automotive Conference and Expo
here in April.
The Canadian debt ratio, measured as debt compared with personal disposable income, is at record
highs and remains larger than in the
United States, he said, calling it a
remarkable turn of events.
As the Bank of Canada raises
interest rates, Porter said it appears
likely that Canadians' borrowing will
slow.
"I would be concerned if we continue to see this debt ratio continue

I would be concerned if we
continue to see this debt ratio
continue to rise, but it does finally
look like it's close to capping out.
DOUGLAS PORTER

BMO chief economist

to rise, but it does finally look like
it's close to capping out," he said.

That could have ramifications on
the new-vehicle market, which is
expected to plateau this year and into
2019, Porter said.
Another factor could be the rise
of long-term loans for new vehicles.
Porter said the share of auto loans
longer than five years has risen to
account for about two-thirds of the
market, compared to about one-third
in 2010.
"That is a remarkable change, a
remarkable shift that we're seeing in
the length of these loans in what really is a very short period of time."
- ANC



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2

Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 15
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Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 21
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Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 31
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 32
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