Video: How autonomous driving can fix Ottawa’s potholes

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Sit down, buckle up, but take your hands off the wheel: Techopia Live is taking charge as we tour the latest hype surrounding Ottawa’s autonomous vehicles sector.

In anticipation of the Kanata North Business Improvement Area’s upcoming Autonomous Vehicles summit this week, Techopia used our weekly live show from the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards to bring together three tech leaders to talk about how Ottawa can make its mark in autonomous driving.

Barrie Kirk, executive director of Canada’s Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE), talked about the potential of capitalizing on the latest innovations in mobility, an industry that U.S. financial services firm Morgan Stanley estimates is worth more than $10 trillion globally.

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“For the city of Ottawa, there’s an opportunity to redesign the entire city. It’ll change infrastructure, it’ll change parking, it’ll change people’s lives,” he told the live audience.

Grant Courville, as senior director of product management at BlackBerry QNX, knows the potential of autonomous vehicles well.

He spoke of a potential mass reduction in accidents and fatalities as autonomous and assisted driving develops, and of the compelling ways cities can get involved in the transition. He gave the example of cars reporting back to the city when they hit a pothole, and the city utilizing that data to better prioritize infrastructure maintenance.

“This is, quite frankly, the most exciting time I’ve seen in automotive,” he said.

Courville added that Ottawa had a deep talent pool capable of making waves in autonomous driving, and Jenna Sudds, executive director of the Kanata North BIAechoed the importance of the new technology in growing not only her business park, but the rest of Ottawa as well.

“We are the nation’s capital, so why wouldn’t we (embrace this technology)?” she asked.

To that end, Kanata North BIA’s AV Summit will take place on Thursday, Jan. 19 at the Brookstreet Hotel, and you can follow this link to grab some of the few remaining tickets.

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