Leading in cutting-edge automotive research

The Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR) focuses on collaborative research in automotive and transportation systems, by facilitating relations between those within the automotive industry and University of Waterloo faculty researchers. WatCAR also participates in connecting undergraduate students with co-op work placements and graduate students with internships.

Automotive and information technology are converging in today's vehicles at a rapid, disruptive rate.  With the largest engineering faculty in Canada and with a computer science school based in the largest mathematics faculty in the world, Waterloo knows this convergence all too well.

As a leading North American academic enterprise, WatCAR offers over 125 faculty with 40+ research competencies. We are a portal for assemblers, parts manufacturers, materials suppliers and regulators, and software and technology companies. See our detailed list of research expertise.


WatCAR envisions future mobility to be smarter, cleaner and more convenient; available to an increasingly wider segment of society. 

Our researchers work to achieve this vision through their expertise in:

  • connectivity,
  • cybersecurity,
  • advanced powertrains, 
  • artificial intelligence, 
  • autonomous driving,
  • and structural light weighting.

  1. Sep. 6, 2018New system uses AI to detect potholes and other problemsprofessor John Zelek beside pot holes

    Artificial intelligence (AI) technology may soon make it easier and cheaper to detect problems with roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure.

    A new AI software system developed by researchers at Waterloo Engineering automatically analyzes photographs taken by vehicle-mounted cameras to flag potholes, cracks and other defects.

    “If governments have that information, they can better plan when to repair a particular road and do it at a lower cost,” says John Zelek, a systems design engineering professor. “Essentially, it could mean lower taxes for residents.”

  2. Aug. 26, 2018Waterloo’s autonomous vehicle program passes milestone of 100 km on public streetsAutonomoose vehicle

    Researchers at the University of Waterloo have reached an important milestone by logging their 100thkilometre on public roads in a self-driving car.

    Achieved last week in an industrial area of Waterloo, it is the culmination of almost two years of work since the research team won approval from the Ontario government to do on-road testing in an autonomous vehicle pilot program.

  3. Aug. 10, 2018Researchers awarded $13.6 million in federal fundingEhsan Toyserkani

    Two research networks led by Waterloo Engineering experts were front and centre as more than $78 million in federal funding was announced today for collaborations between academia and businesses across the country.

    Ehsan Toyserkani, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, will receive $5.5 million over five years for the Network for Holistic Innovations in Additive Manufacturing (HI-AM).

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  1. Oct. 10, 20182018 AutoTech SymposiumAutoTech logo

    Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR), in partnership with Waterloo EDC, are hosting the third annual AutoTech Symposium on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. The symposium brings together Ontario based automotive technology companies, in order to connect them with global automotive decision – makers in the areas of security software, artificial intelligence and automation. The symposium will include panel discussions, industry experts, WatCAR tours, and more.

All upcoming events