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More than 100 people turned out today for the official opening of a new $4-million automotive research facility at the University of Waterloo.

Dignitaries kickstarted the event at the Autonomous Vehicle Research and Intelligence Laboratory (AVRIL) by arriving in automated electric car that is being developed by student design team WATonomous.

Autonomous vehicle (AV) developers now have a new winter-weather tool at their disposal thanks to engineering researchers.

Teams at Waterloo Engineering and the University of Toronto collaborated on a free, open-source dataset to test and train AV perception algorithms in nasty conditions.

“We want to engage the research community to generate new ideas and enable innovations,” said Krzysztof Czarnecki, the engineering professor who leads the Waterloo team.

New technology developed at Waterloo Engineering enables self-driving vehicles to limit injuries and damage in situations where they can’t avoid crashing.

The system is needed, according to mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor Amir Khajepour, because there are too many uncertainties to ever completely eliminate collisions involving autonomous vehicles.

“There are hundreds, thousands, of variable we have no control over,” he said. “We are driving and all of a sudden there is black ice, for instance, or a boulder rolls down a mountain onto the road.”

Vehicles could be affordably produced for a wide variety of specialized purposes using a sophisticated wheel unit developed by Waterloo Engineering researchers.

The self-contained unit combines a wheel and an electric motor with braking, suspension, steering and a control system in a single module designed to be bolted to any vehicle frame.

A student design team at the University of Waterloo is taking part in a competition to improve the energy efficiency of an SUV while also balancing factors such as emissions, safety and consumer acceptance.

UWAFT (University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team) is up against teams from 11 other universities in North America in the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the latest event staged by the U.S. Department of Energy and sponsors including General Motors.

More than 100 people got a feel for the future when University of Waterloo researchers offered rides today to demonstrate their progress on development of a self-driving car.

Autonomoose, the modified Lincoln MKZ hybrid sedan at the heart of the project, completed several complex manoeuvres on its own as it took guests from the media, the University and industry partners around a test track in Waterloo.

Innovators from the automotive and information technology (IT) sectors gathered at the University of Waterloo today to explore the shared future they’re helping to shape.

The third annual AutoTech Symposium attracted 120 participants, primarily from Ontario and Quebec, for a day of keynote addresses, panel discussions and industry exhibits in the new Engineering 7 building.

A self-powered sensor developed by Waterloo Engineering researchers could allow doctors to remotely monitor the recovery of surgical patients.

The small, tube-like device is designed to be fitted to braces after joint surgery to wirelessly send information to computers, smartphones or smartwatches to track range of motion and other indicators of improvement.