University of Waterloo, BlackBerry Partner To Bring Ontario's First Self-Driving Cars

Recently, Ontario became the first Province in Canada to open a Pilot program which the Ministry of Transportation plans to test the safety and reliability of automated vehicles on public roads.

BlackBerry naturally will play an instrumental role in the program - as their QNX subsidiary is one of just three approved participants. Each participating organization will be testing different levels of automation, and the program is set to span over 10 years, making the potential advancements limitless. The province is investing $2.95 million over the course of the 10 year program:

"I think everyone here can see a world in which that will one day be the reality, but the Ministry of Transportation's primary responsibility, in addition to trying to enable positive outcomes with this kind of technology, is also road safety."Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca

Stipulated in the pilot project, a driver with the appropriate licence must remain in the driver's seat at all times to monitor vehicle operations and follow rules of the road.

"The University of Waterloo's Centre for Automotive Research will test a Lincoln MKZ, auto manufacturer the Erwin Hymer Group will test a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van and QNX, a software subsidiary of BlackBerry, will test a 2017 Lincoln.", "The automotive industry is undergoing a significant transformation with the emergence of connected cars and autonomous drive," - John Wall, head of BlackBerry QNX

We'll be covering more of BlackBerry's involvement in this pilot program - and since the BlackBerryCentral team is based in Waterloo too, we're going to bring some close up action in the future with their program.

S: CTV News