Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ontario tech companies team up to target the connected car

To predict who will play a role tomorrow's connected vehicles, you need to look beyond the usual suspects.

When someone says “automobile,” what’s the first word that comes to mind? Chances are, it isn’t Ontario. And yet Ontario — the Canadian province that is home to QNX headquarters — is a world-class hub of automotive R&D and manufacturing. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota all have plants here. As do 350 parts suppliers. In fact, Ontario produced 2.5 million vehicles in 2012 alone.

No question, Ontario has the smarts to build cars. But to fully appreciate what Ontario has to offer, you need to look beyond the usual suspects in the auto supply chain. Take QNX Software Systems, for example. Our roots are in industrial computing, but in the early 2000s we started to offer software technology and expertise to the world’s automakers and tier one suppliers. And now, a decade later, QNX offers the premier platform for in-car infotainment, with deployments in tens of millions of vehicles.

QNX Software Systems is not alone. Ontario is home to many other “non-automotive” technology companies that are playing, or are poised to play, a significant role in creating new automotive experiences. But just who are these companies? The Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) of Canada would like you to know. Which is why they've joined forces with QNX and other partners to build the APMA Connected Vehicle.

A showcase for Ontario technology.
The purpose of the vehicle is simple: to showcase how Ontario companies can help create the next generation of connected cars. The vehicle is based on a Lexus RX350 — built in Ontario, of course — equipped with a custom-built infotainment system and digital instrument cluster built on QNX technology. Together, the QNX systems integrate more than a dozen technologies and services created in Ontario, including gesture recognition, biometric security, emergency vehicle notification, LED lighting, weather telematics, user interface design, smartphone charging, and cloud connectivity.

Okay, enough from me. Time to nuke some popcorn, dim the lights, and hit the Play button:

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