General Motors will be racing on its new research and development track in Oshawa, Ontario – but not in the form of traditional motorsports. Nay, it will be racing its competitors in the global challenge to develop new technologies that will transform the way we move from A to B.
Spanning 55-acres of real-estate, the test track will feature roadways and lanes that mimic public streets for the safe testing of autonomous drive technologies and further refinement of existing driver assistance technologies, such as lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, stop-and-go cruise-control and sign recognition.
While much of the development work on the aforementioned technolgies can be executed in a laboratory environment, in its final stages, it’s essential to test it in a real-world environment, with engineers behind the wheel (or in some cases – nothing but a laptop behind the wheel!).
The new track will be named the Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track, in honour of GM Canada’s founder, Colonel Sam McLaughlin.
The facility will be the second in GM Canada’s arsenal, after the 3.5-kilometer Cold Weather Development Centre in Kapuskasing, Ontario – a track that proves useful for developing cars, SUVs and pickups to handle snow- and ice-covered roads with aplomb thanks to its cold, snow-belt climate.
After breaking ground this fall, construction of the new McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track is well underway; GM intends to have the facility fully operational by spring 2020.
“Our founder in Oshawa, Colonel Sam McLaughlin, was one of the greatest Canadian innovators of his day,” said Scott Bell, president and managing director, GM Canada. “It’s entirely fitting that the McLaughlin legacy and brand will now be part of GM Canada’s ongoing transformation and our next big step forward in advanced technology development and testing right here in Durham Region.”
“The Canadian Technical Centre McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track will demonstrate to the world that Oshawa continues to be an innovative city and a proven leader in transformation, technological advancements and partnerships in the transportation and automobile industry,” said Mayor Dan Carter. “The naming of this track after the great Colonel Sam McLaughlin is the perfect way to honour our rich automotive manufacturing heritage while propelling the City forward as an active force for vehicle advancements.”
[Source and photo credit: GM Canada]