University of Waterloo partners with Chinese institutions on connected autonomous driving

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Steering wheel of self driving carThe University of Waterloo will partner with leading institutes in China to advance research in the areas of connected and autonomous vehicle technology.

The partnership between Waterloo and the Qingdao Academy of Intelligent Industries (QAII) and the State Key Laboratory for Management and Control of Complex Systems (SKL-MCCS) was solidified in an agreement recently signed by all parties.

The centre’s research activities will see automated vehicle testing, human-like autonomous driving, applied artificial intelligence and deep learning in automated driving.

The agreement outlines a number of initiatives, including the establishment of a shared research centre for automated driving, faculty and graduate student exchanges, a Waterloo PhD program focused on autonomous vehicles, and the potential for Chinese startup companies to establish research and development facilities in the Waterloo Region.

“Waterloo is committed to taking a global view on research and development and this partnership represents a significant step in our goal of advancing the world’s understanding and use of new technologies,” said Feridun, Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor at Waterloo. “Our dedication to innovation and these types of partnerships will help us to continue to shape the future of Canada and the world’s technologies and economy.”

Funding from other external sources will be pursued by all institutions. It is expected that multiple university-industry partnerships will be developed based on this joint research platform.

"The Waterloo collaboration is another significant step to strengthen QAII's international profile, and we are committed to make it a great success," said Yanchen Gao, senior vice-president of QAII for Intelligent Technology R&D and Incubation. "Parallel driving for intelligent vehicles is one of our hallmark technologies and we hope our joint venture with Waterloo brings networked autonomous driving to reality."

The Chinese partners will collectively provide up to $1M CDN per year for five years to initiate collaborative activities. Waterloo has committed to providing $4M CDN to build a new autonomous lab facility in 2018 and is seeking further government matching funds to support this initiative.

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