Tag Archives: self driving

Blackberry to add 800 jobs in Ottawa, build self driving cars

Blackberry teamed up with federal government and will be investing $350m to build self-driving cars in Ottawa.

Federal government will pitch in $40m while Blackberry itself will be investing $310m.

The jobs will be added over the next 10 years.

In January, Ontario government has announced greater leway for self driving cars to operate in Ontario. Where as before you had to have someone sit in a car as backup, now you are able to have the car drive by itself as long as you have some remotely monitoring it.

Blackberry’s division, QNX, was one of the first companies in Canada that had autonomous vehicle drive on its own in Canada in 2017.

Doug Ford allows self-driving cars in Ontario

Doug Ford, recently elected Ontario premier, has decided to cut down on some red tape when it comes to self driving cars in Canadian province of Ontario.

Of course, it will not be free for all , and drivers would need to follow the following exemptions:

  1. Regular folks like you and me can use self-driving cars but only if they are designed to be Level 3 – Conditional Automation: The vehicle becomes a co-pilot. The vehicle manages most safety-critical driving functions but the driver must be ready to take control of the vehicle at all times. The problem is none of the cars on the market in Canada are Level 3 so we might need to wait a bit for them to come here.
  2. When it comes to approved auto manufacturers, tech companies, universities, research institutions and systems manufacturers – they can operate Level 5 – Full Automation: Vehicle is capable of being completely driverless. Full-time automated driving in all conditions without need for a human driver. The government will need to sign off on each car that they own before they can start driving it around or more accurately being driven around in one. Also as a driver inside the car even though you are not driving you will still be responsible for the car’s operations and be charged for any offense: distracted, careless and impaired driving laws.

“At the University of Waterloo we are conducting unique research in the field of autonomous vehicles, like improving self-driving in Canadian weather conditions such as sleet and snow. After recently celebrating 100 kilometres driven on public roads, the measures announced today will allow projects like Autonomoose to further advance important research opportunities in this emerging sector, while training highly qualified personnel for industry.”

Ross McKenzie
Managing Director, WatCAR, University of Waterloo

Kitchener Clearpath Robotics’s OTTO Motors makes self driving vehicles for warehouses, raises $55M Canadian to date

OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath Robotics, provides self-driving vehicles designed exclusively for indoor material transport. The vehicles operate with infrastructure-free navigation, offering intelligent, safe, efficient, and reliable transportation within industrial centers. Proprietary hardware, software, and services are delivered to provide customer excellence.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Clearpath Robotics was founded in 2009 by Ryan Gariepy (CTO), Bryan Webb (COO) and Matt Rendall (CEO). In April 2016, the company launched its industrial division, OTTO Motors, to provide self-driving vehicles for material transport to manufacturing and warehouse operators.

How are you being financed?

Our parent company, Clearpath Robotics, raised its first round of VC funding in March 2015 and its Series B funding in October 2016.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Scaling a high-growth company is our biggest challenges. It’s something we’ve had a lot of practice with over the course of our business, but there are always growing pains associated when it comes to scaling up. From improving team communications to efficiently planning inventory stock, there’s a full range of factors that can be impacted when growing a company’s team, product line, and customer base.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

We’re fortunate to receive over 9,000 applicants each year for the positions we post on Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors. We open our application process to prospective team members globally, engage in recruitment activities with local universities, and engage in the online community through social media discussions and recruitment advertising.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

We were profitable within 18 months of inception and now we’re a multi-million dollar organization. Addressing the market needs to ensure a product-market fit is our number focus, and we do this by listening to our customers and iterating on products and solutions quickly to ensure we provide the highest value possible. Expanding with our industrial division was an important strategic move for us since OTTO Motors serves a very separate market (ie: manufacturers in industry) than the Clearpath Robotics business (i.e: researchers in academia).

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

The biggest lesson we’ve learned is how to manage growth, yet with more growth, comes more growing pains. So although we’ve learned a lot, there is always more to gain!