Windsor-Essex Canada’s Automobility Capital on world stage at North American International Auto Show

Invest WindsorEssex/Media Release

DETROIT, MICH. (Sept. 14, 2022) – Today,Invest WindsorEssex (IWE), the University of WindsorSt. Clair CollegeWEtech Alliance and Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island have partnered to showcase the Windsor-Essex region on a global stage at the AutoMobili-D exhibit of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

The NAIAS provides a platform for an array of companies, organizations and thought leaders to meet under one roof to connect and share insights with automotive professionals and analysts representing companies from around the world. With the addition of AutoMobili-D, presented by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, attendees participating in Industry Tech Days can experience the latest mobility-focused technologies and innovative platforms from global automakers, suppliers and start-ups showcasing mobility advancements and industry-shaping news. 

The goal of this regional participation in the NAIAS is to build awareness of Windsor-Essex as a premier location for mobility innovation and to showcase the technological advancements and programming available to companies looking to expand into Canada’s Automobility Capital. Over the next two days, partners will continue to network extensively with major mobility OEMs to bolster the region’s reputation and opportunities amongst growing mobility tech companies.

The strategic design elements of the “Windsor-Essex: Your Bridge to the Future” exhibit showcases Windsor-Essex by promoting the region’s assets and highlighting the region’s strategic location at the heart of North America’s mobility and innovation corridor. Windsor-Essex’s great quality of life, access to global talent and rapidly growing mobility and tech sectors will be shared with hundreds of prospective companies and individuals.

In addition to promoting the region’s assets and opportunities for foreign direct investment, Invest WindsorEssex unveiled a compendium of digital test tracks for connected and autonomous vehicle (C/AV) testing. 

Through the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the IWE Automobility and Innovation department has created digital test tracks of the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel and Area X.0, the R&D complex for next-gen smart mobility, connectivity and autonomy founded and managed by Invest Ottawa in Canada’s Capital. These capabilities will be demonstrated at TCXpo, the first national smart mobility demonstration day of its kind hosted by Area X.O with Transport Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) on September 20, 2022.

FedDev Ontario supported the projects by providing funding for the LIDAR scan of the environments and the post-processing development to deploy the files into the virtual world. This adds to the existing premier digital test track of the University of Michigan’s MCity which is currently deployed at the IWE VR CAVE. The creation of these digital test tracks provides an opportunity to assist companies and complement their live on-road testing with advanced simulation testing of their C/AV technologies. 

Testing automated vehicles in a real-world environment poses many challenges. Using a digital twin and virtual environments allows companies to simulate how their sensors, vision systems and on-board cameras will operate in order to keep vehicles and their occupants safe. 

In addition, these virtual environments provide industry, government and researchers the ability to field-test the deployment of upcoming technologies in a cost-effective manner, without creating a disturbance to the flow of traffic and in a secure and safe environment. 

Companies interested in using the digital test tracks at Invest WindsorEssex are encouraged to sign up and request a  


“The North American International Auto Show attracts global industry leaders and major mobility OEMs to Detroit, Mich. and provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the innovation and technology development happening across the border in Windsor-Essex. This year, we have brought together a cluster of innovative partners to collaborate, compete and showcase Windsor-Essex on a global stage as the Automobility Capital of Canada.” – Stephen MacKenzie, President and CEO, Invest WindsorEssex  

“The Windsor-Essex region is transitioning from its long-standing identify as the Automotive Capital of Canada to becoming the Automobility Capital of Canada.  As a region, we are excited to showcase the expertise, talent and infrastructure that is available to support this transition. The University of Windsor is well positioned to support the advancement of new technology and mobility innovations as we transition to connected, autonomous, secure and electrified (CASE) passenger vehicles.  The ecosystem in the Windsor-Essex region is exceptionally well aligned to support automotive OEMs and global industry leaders in advancing these new and exciting technologies and we look forward to showcasing this remarkable regional collaboration at the North American International Auto Show.” – Heather Pratt, Executive Director Research & Innovation, University of Windsor 

“The Windsor-Essex region has developed a strong ecosystem and has been working together to develop innovative solutions and advanced emerging mobility technologies. We look forward to displaying our attributes to a global mobility audience at the North American International Auto Show, showcasing collaboration opportunities.” – Peter Wawrow, Director Research and Innovation, St. Clair College 

“Bringing new startups and talent to the region all starts with building awareness and new connections. This is a great opportunity for Windsor-Essex’s innovation ecosystem to showcase our incredible regional assets, our deep-rooted history in the automotive sector, and our continued commitment to lead Canada in in the development of the next generation of vehicles and mobility. Together, with our partners, we invite you to say hello and see why Windsor-Essex is the place to start and grow your career or business.” – Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO, WEtech Alliance 

“The North American International Auto Show is an opportunity to help promote not only our geographic advantage as a Two Nation Destination with our northern neighbour Detroit, but it is also a welcome opportunity to be a community partner in this endeavour and act as destination stewards to help underscore our meaningful quality of life issues, as global industry leaders look beyond our innovation and technology strengths.” – Gordon Orr, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Windsor Essex   

About Invest WindsorEssex (IWE)
Invest WindsorEssex is the lead economic development agency for the Windsor-Essex region. The focus of the organization is to develop and execute strategies to retain, expand, attract and help new businesses start-up in Windsor-Essex. Invest WindsorEssex is led by a board of distinguished community leaders. A team of professional staff provides assistance with location and investment decisions by working one-on-one with businesses to facilitate the process of starting, growing or locating a business in Windsor-Essex.

About FedDev Ontario
For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn

About the University of Windsor 
The University of Windsor is a regionally focused, globally connected comprehensive university.  Annually, more than 16,000 students pursue their educational and personal goals across a range of undergraduate, graduate and professionally accredited programs that are offered across eight faculties: Engineering, Science, Law, Business, Human Kinetics, Nursing, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Education. With long-standing and demonstrated excellence in automotive research, the University of Windsor is home to some of the most innovative research and expertise in areas such as cybersecurity, autonomous and connected vehicles, electric motors and propulsion systems, fuels and emissions, safety, ergonomics, vehicle light weighting, new materials, sensors and more. Our internationally recognized researchers offer a wide range of expertise in supporting research collaborations through access to expertise, talent, and infrastructure. 

About St. Clair College 
St. Clair College is a postsecondary institution that provides higher education for approximately 14,000 full time students. Students study in a wide variety of disciplines, achieving advanced diplomas, diplomas, and degrees in Health Sciences, Engineering Technologies, Skilled Trades, Business & Information Technology, Media Arts & Design, Community Studies, and Social Justice and Legal Studies. St. Clair College is renowned for its teaching excellence in the allied health fields, educating the largest number of health care students in the province. Advanced manufacturing facilities, in the Ford Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing, provide world-class training in a wide variety of technology and trades careers.

About WEtech Alliance 
WEtech Alliance is one of seventeen Regional Innovation Centres, funded by the Province of Ontario, serving the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions. We provide entrepreneurs with business services, training, IP and commercialization supports, talent supports, mentorship and strategic connections to help bring new ideas to market, scale to the next level and build a dynamic culture and a community of innovation. WEtech Alliance has served as the catalyst for technology and innovation in the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions since 2011. 

About Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island 

Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island is the official Destination Marketing Organization for the regional tourism industry. We are a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting and selling Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention goers and business travelers. We are the leading tourism industry collaborative committed to enhancing the region’s economy and quality of life by (1) Supporting industry development and individual operators; (2) Actively facilitating partner engagement; (3) Effectively marketing our destination. For more information go to and visit our social media sites TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube

Media Contact

Gina Meret-Dybenko
Director, Marketing and Communications 
Invest WindsorEssex 
Mobile: 519-791-6223