automotive &transportation


The Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR) has the largest concentration of automotive researchers at any Canadian university. Integrated teams are working across the entire industry supply chain, helping to create vehicle and manufacturing breakthroughs like never before.

Building better batteries

Lithium-sulphur batteries are widely seen as the key to mainstreaming the electric car. They have the potential to increase today’s current driving range from 300 kilometres to more than 600 kilometres on one charge, at much less cost than today’s lithium-ion batteries. Canada Research Chair Linda Nazar, a professor of chemistry in the Faculty of Science and member of WIN and WatCAR, and her team are developing less expensive alternatives to lithium-based batteries that will improve battery performance and revolutionize our transportation and energy infrastructure.

Midnight Sun X solar car team; solar arrays atop can power the vehicle up to 120 km/h, using about the amount of energy required to operate a toaster.

Lighter, stronger, safer

WatCAR’s collaborative research approach with industry partners results in smarter, time-efficient automotive solutions that benefit both consumers and manufacturers. Researchers are working with lightweight alloys in ways that will improve fuel economy and revolutionize auto parts production, offering both efficiency and safety. In partnership with 13 Canadian auto and information technology companies, WatCAR has also developed a connected Lexus to demonstrate real-world, intelligent transportation applications for today and tomorrow.

Sebastian Fischmeister, a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, cross-appointed to the Faculty of Mathematics, and his embedded software research team integrated disparate technologies from 13 companies, creating a connected Lexus, a first-of-a-kind effort with the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, QNX and others. The Lexus is not a concept car; it is a fully functional, roadworthy vehicle.

Waterloo alumnus in the driver(less) seat

Google[x] is known as a secretive division of the tech giant that develops everything from robots to self-driving cars. Waterloo alumnus Rahim Pardhan (BASc ’09), pictured here, hired by Google on the strength of his co-op education experiences and his Waterloo Engineering degree, is working to make the driverless car a reality within this decade.

The future of automotive is more than automation. Our researchers and alumni, together with industry partners, are making transportation smarter, faster and greener, paving the way for global commerce and sustainability.

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