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EV/AV Report: March 29, 2021

Toronto, Ontario – In this week’s electric and autonomous vehicle report, Project Arrow meets it’s virtual twin that the APMA plans to use through the prototyping phase, Volkswagen reveals the ID.Buzz microbus as the its first full AV and the government of British Columbia helps support a Canadian electric heavy trucks company.

Pixelated Production
The developers of Canada’s ambitious EV concept, Project Arrow, are changing the meaning of a digitized vehicle by unveiling the virtual twin of the highly-anticipated concept vehicle.

The project, led by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), plans to make extensive use of virtual reality at the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s (WEEDC) virtual reality CAVE, where much of Project Arrow’s innovative digital prototyping will take place.

“We’re challenging people’s perception of manufacturing,” said Flavio Volpe, president of the APMA, who believes there could be close to a third of the Arrow vehicle’s parts made in Windsor-Essex.

The virtual twin will allow a model of the vehicle to be manipulated and tested in real time, within a 5G network, and is expected to cut considerable costs in time and money for the APMA.

Buzzing about the Bus
In a true love letter to the specific cross-section of VW fans that value cutting-edge technology and the adequate amount of space to be able to play Twister, Volkswagen has officially unveiled the ID.Buzz fully-autonomous microbus.

The German automaker first announced that they were reviving the old microbus design back in 2017, and now VW has gone forward to say that the Buzz, and not the ID.4, will be the company’s first car that is fully driver-optional and geared toward the rideshare industry.

“This year, for the first time, we are conducting field trials in Germany, in which the self-driving system by Argo AI will be used in a version of the future ID. Buzz by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles,” said head of autonomous driving at VW, Christian Senger.

“The aim is to develop a ride-hailing and pooling concept similar to what MOIA (Volkswagen Group’s ride-sharing service company) offers today. In the middle of this decade, our customers will then have the opportunity to be taken to their destination in selected cities with autonomous vehicles.”

So We Can Keep on Truckin’
The government of British Columbia announced it’s support last week for Parksville-based Canadian Electric Vehicles (CanEV), a developer of electric industrial work vehicles in the province, by providing funding from the CleanBC Advanced Research and Commercialization (ARC) program.

The company is set to receive $294,000 from the province to aid in the development of the third generation of it’s low-speed Might-E trucks and a new medium-duty truck that will achieve Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to allow operation on any road.

“Under our CleanBC plan, we are moving to a future where new vehicles produce no air pollution at all,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

“To get there faster, we are supporting smart B.C. companies like CanEV to develop innovative technology. We are also offering rebates to businesses adopting commercial electric vehicles (EVs) through our CleanBC Go Electric programs.”

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