Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson put innovation high on his list of priorities during his State of the City address on Wednesday.
Though the majority of the speech was spent hyping Ottawa 2017 celebrations, Watson announced a “mission” down to Toronto’s Queen’s Park in the coming weeks with tech magnate Sir Terry Matthews to knock on the door of Ontario’s politicians.
His goal? To explore how they might establish Ottawa as an autonomous vehicle hub and a leader in the development of 5G connectivity.
Ottawa has taken steps in the past year to establish itself in both of these emerging fields.
Matthews himself devoted a portion of his keynote address at last October's Ottawa Real Estate Forum to extol the potential of "the world of 5G."
Through 5G, he said, the world could realize the full potential of the Internet of Thingsand clear up bandwidth “highways,” currently congested through uses such as video and photo sharing.
“Is the highway getting bigger? The answer is very much yes. The difference between 3G and 4G was a tripling. The difference between 4G and 5G is about 1,000-1,” Matthews told the forum.
“It’s almost on us,” he added.
Sir Terry is not sitting on the sidelines of the 5G revolution.
Mitel, the prized jewel of Matthew’s Wesley Clover Network, also announced a partnership with Ottawa’s DragonWave last March to further the development of 5G networks.
Meanwhile, Ottawa’s pursuits of becoming an autonomous vehicle hub have also been no secret, with the Kanata North BIA holding its AV summit last week and a $100-million investment from BlackBerry in a local “Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre” late last year.
You can watch last week’s Techopia Live below to hear from leaders in the Ottawa autonomous vehicle industry about how Ottawa can position it to achieve Mayor Watson’s audacious automotive goals.