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EV/AV Report: April 25, 2022

Toronto, Ontario – In this week’s electric and autonomous vehicle report, the federal government expands the ZEV program to include larger vehicles, General Motors patents an autonomous driving education system and Windsor, Ont. officially opens the Virtual Reality Cave for AV testing.

More bang for your buck

The federal government unveiled big changes to the Zero-Emission Vehicles Program, announcing that it has been expanded to provide incentives for the purchase of emissions-free minivans, light-duty pickup trucks, and SUVs.

As of April 25, an eligible vehicle under the ZEV program must have a base model MSRP that is less than $55,000, with a ceiling of $65,000 for higher-priced versions of the same model.

Larger vehicles, like sports utility vehicles, minivans and pick-up trucks, must have a base model Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price under $60,000, with a ceiling of $70,000.

The government paired this announcement with a sales mandate that aims for 20 percent of Canadian vehicle sales to be ZEVs by 2026.

Robot teacher

A new patent filed by General Motors aims to provide a groundbreaking learning tool to novice drivers that allow a vehicle to monitor and assess driving ability autonomously, provide feedback and even take control of the vehicle if need be.

Still in its early stages, the tech is being tested to see if it could determine if a driver meets various licensing requirements, or use its intelligence to try to help adjust to the driver’s abilities.

It is unclear at this point whether the technology would be put to use in personal vehicles, though the patent suggests it could be applied to a fleet of teaching vehicles.

New Level

In an effort to circumvent the volatility of the global supply chain, Invest WindsorEssex has unveiled a virtual Windsor Detroit Tunnel to be used for testing the potential for autonomous border-crossing delivery vehicles.

“This environment is now giving us another level to test these different vehicle technologies,” said senior manager for automobility and innovation with Invest WindsorEssex, Edward Dawson.

Dawson says this virtual setting allows his team to accurately simulate the conditions of that specific border crossing, including border checkpoints, traffic (like you might find on a Lions game day, one project engineer noted) and even the unique lighting found when cars are driving through the tunnel.

Invest WindsorEssex’s engineering lead, Akash Charuvila, said the Virtual Reality Cave is officially open and working with several companies in the autonomous technology space.

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