Invest WindsorEssex invites you to Canada’s automobility capital

Electric Autonomy Magazine

Many start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises face barriers to testing and validating their new products. The Windsor-Essex Regional Technology Development Site provides companies with the necessary resources to support their R&D pipeline and grow their market.

Situated on the border with Detroit, Mich., Windsor-Essex is home to the busiest commercial border crossing in North America. With over 200 million people located within a 13-hour drive, the Windsor-Essex region provides unparalleled market access to dozens of metropolitan areas.

The region is at the heart of automotive research built on manufacturing and driven by innovation.

That vision is leading us into the connected, autonomous and electrified future.

Supporting the future of automobility

Windsor-Essex is proud to be one of seven Regional Technology Development Sites (RTDS) within Ontario. Led by the Invest WindsorEssex Automobility and Innovation team, the Windsor-Essex RTDS (WE RTDS) brings together post-secondary institutions, incubators and local partners to support start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with prototyping, validating and commercializing connected and automated vehicle technology and mobility solutions.

The WE RTDS specializes in advanced simulation, virtual reality and automotive cybersecurity. It is a proud partner of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN).

Thanks to OVIN funding and corporate partnerships, the specialized services and resources are provided to eligible participants at no cost.

Some of the private companies and public ecosystem partners include Ansys, Matlab, Simutech Group, Virtualware, Opal-RT, Keysight Technologies, Vehiqilla, Wetech Alliance, St. Clair College and the University of Windsor.

Ways Invest WindsorEssex can help

Some companies are looking for assistance with product development, simulation testing and skills training.

The Invest WindsorEssex Virtual Reality CAVE is part of the WE RTDS. It provides support while reducing prototyping and testing costs in a safe environment. Start-ups and SMEs can accelerate product development and get to market in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Invest WindsorEssex’s Automobility and Innovation team also assists with creating a virtual model for product design. The CAVE can even develop a simulated process to predict maintenance patterns. These services are free to use and cut down on development, R&D and resource costs.

Some companies require on-road testing for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) or sensor suite including camera vision systems, LiDAR and radar. These tests can be conducted in true-to-scale simulations using a compendium of virtual test tracks.

The WE RTDS offers the only VR CAVE in the world to have a virtual international cross-border simulated environment: the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel digital twin. This virtual environment assists with product development during the testing phase. By accurately representing real-world driving conditions, start-ups and SMEs experience physics-based testing, ensuring their product is ready for development.

To complement the support found at the WE RTDS, Invest WindsorEssex also partners with Simutech Group to offer Ansys advanced physics-based simulation start-up bundle software packages. The software helps companies verify product performance, tackle engineering challenges and win the race to market.

Finally, the WE RTDS gives start-ups and SMEs the resources to test the security of their product using Automotive Penetration Testing with Keysight technology and the ASRG Automotive Threat Library.

In partnership with Canada’s leading automotive cybersecurity institutions — S.H.I.E.L.D. at the University of Windsor — these programs allow start-ups and SMEs to test the security of their products, ensuring they meet industry compliance standards such as ISO21434 and UNECE WP.29 protocols.

Get involved in Invest WindsorEssex automobility

Ontario-based start-ups and SMEs in the automobility or mobility sector may connect with the Invest WindsorEssex Automobility and Innovation team to develop custom resources and supports at no cost.

If an interested company doesn’t have a physical presence in Ontario, the WE RTDS offers conversion packages that support expansion into Ontario and/or the Windsor-Essex region. Companies are provided with the resources needed to help ease their transition into the Ontario market.

To learn more information please don’t hesitate to reach out to the WE RTDS program managers.

Mackenzie Habash, Program Manager

Kassem Nizam, Program Manager