Windsor Detroit tunnel driving simulator

What would it be like to drive through the Windsor Detroit Tunnel in a connected and automated vehicle?

Invest WindsorEssex now houses Canada’s first virtual border crossing test track to discover just that.

“What type of implications would it have if [the automated vehicle] encountered an issue going from one side of the border to the other? This environment is now giving us another level to test these different vehicles and the technologies that come with them,” said Ed Dawson, senior manager of automobility and innovation at Invest WindsorEssex.

The 3-D representation of the Windsor Detroit Tunnel was created using light detection and ranging technology.

“What we did here is we created a state-of-the-art simulation environment to be able to safely, accurately, and cost-effectively test different technologies and to be able to quickly make changes as needed,” said Dawson.

This simulation can now be used in the Invest WindsorEssex Virtual Reality Cave by small to mid-sized companies looking to test their automated vehicle technology.

“This scenario-based testing has been great to help accelerate the speed of their technology,” said Dawson. “Before they can go to the road, and on-road testing this is that intermediate testing that is required.”

The equipment in the virtual reality cave was purchased in 2019 with the help of a $5-million FedDev Ontario grant.

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