UWindsor lends automotive expertise to national study

A University of Windsor automotive expert has helped craft a national report that examines trends affecting the evolution of connected and automated vehicle technologies in Canada.

Peter Frise, the university’s director of the Centre for Automotive Research and Education and former scientific director and CEO of a national automotive R&D program, was invited to participate on an expert panel assembled by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA).

The panel’s resulting report titled Choosing Canada’s Automotive Future identifies potential impacts of connected, autonomous, secure/shared, and electric (CASE) vehicles on industry, privacy and cybersecurity, urban planning, the environment and the safety and well-being of people in Canada. It was released publicly March 2.

“The automotive industry is a key part of Canada’s industrial sector and a major source of high-value employment and foreign exchange,” says Dr. Frise. “The industry is moving toward a set of new vehicle technologies, which have been dubbed CASE.”

According to the panel, CASE vehicles have the potential to grow the economy and fundamentally change transportation, making it safer, cleaner and more accessible. But the report also cautions that without proactive urban management, these advances could potentially worsen air quality and traffic congestion and increase transportation inequities. 

Cybersecurity risks and regulatory challenges around cross-border privacy and data protection were also noted. The panel found, if managed appropriately, this data could provide benefits such as increased safety, efficiency and accessibility for the public sector and private sector.

“The CASE technologies are very well represented within the UWindsor automotive engineering program with world-class activities in connected vehicles with cyber-secure communications and electrified powertrains,” Frise says. 

“The development of autonomous vehicles is also a key focus of a new faculty hire and I think that we, as the first and leading automotive research and education institution in Canada, must continue to take a leadership role on these topics.”

The report was sponsored by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).