My Experience at the Canadian Connected Car Technology Roadshow
From June 15–19, 2015, sixteen connected-car companies from Canada travelled to Silicon Valley near San Francisco to meet with the top automotive manufacturers (OEMs) and major automotive parts suppliers. The roadshow was an opportunity to showcase Canada's innovative connected car technology leaders, as well as to foster potential creative and business partnerships founded on forward-looking IoT ideas.
The Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA) organized the road show in collaboration with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
In this rapidly growing industry it is always helpful for the IT community to put their heads together — even if they're operating in the same industry. Learning about current challenges and the potential of connected car technologies was a valuable experience for all who participated.
Among the 16 businesses selected for this road show, there were three companies from our hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo:
Intelligent Mechatronic Systems (IMS) was represented by their Vice President, Dr. Ben Miners. IMS' connected car platform, DriveSync, makes transportation safer, smarter, and greener, with innovative and secure connected car services. IMS' technology and mobile user-interface streamlines the connected-car driving experience. They use telematic technology to deliver interesting value-added services that include driver insurance scoring, young drivers' intelligence, and vehicle health. Having a dashboard of critical information like that could go a long way toward keeping people safer on the road.
Next, Pravala Networks President Richard Wagner presented the work of the Kitchener-based tech company. Pravala Networks has designed a software solution to securely handle all Internet-integrated car needs with Cisco. Its CVG (connected vehicle gateway) technology allows the driver and car to connect seamlessly to the best available data connection (such as LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, and DSRC networks) so that your car is always connected — even in transit. This will be a critical issue in bridging V2V communication with the broader Internet of Things in the future.
The third KW-based company was, of course, TrustPoint Innovation Technologies. I represented the company and discussed TrustPoint Innovation's products and solutions that will enable secure V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communications which will comply with the soon-to-be-mandated U.S. Department of Transportation legislation. This legislation and enabling technology has the potential to significantly reduce vehicle collisions, improve safety, and ultimately save lives.
The following Canadian companies also participated in the event: Alcohol Countermeasure Systems, BRAKERS Early Warning Systems, CGI Group, Invotek Electronics, Leggett & Platt Automotive Group, Litmus Automation, Lixar IT, QNX Software Systems, Studio 63, TE Connectivity Canada, Weather Telematics, and XYZ Interactive. It was so great to see our country's technology leaders so well represented in Silicon Valley.
Besides displaying the wholly integrated cutting edge Showcase Vehicles — APMA's Lexus and QNX Maserati, which highlighted all of the technology companies connected car solutions, each company had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives of several OEMs and Tier1s. On top of this, all of us had the opportunity to present to over 100 attendees from the AutoTech Council on the last day of the road show.
The AutoTech council attendees included cross-industry colleagues from the IoT, automotive, and telecom industries. They spent the day learning about new technologies from a group of innovative Canadian companies that they wouldn't normally meet in the Valley.
What else is there to say? The road show was a great opportunity for TrustPoint Innovation to showcase its technology and share ideas with other innovators in Canada and the US. Events like these are important for all involved — there is always opportunity for collaboration and thought exchange.