APMA Connected Vehicle Technology Demonstrator @ UWaterloo

Future safety and comfort features in vehicles will make extensive use of connectivity. This includes connectivity between devices within a vehicle, connectivity between vehicles, as well as connectivity to infrastructure and cloud applications. As vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers are actively adopting rapid technology cycles in accordance with the standards set in the mobile industry, they are facing technical and organizational challenges and opportunities.

To explore these challenges and opportunities, the Real-time Embedded Software Group and WatCAR developed the APMA Connected Vehicle Technology Demonstrator together with 13 industry partners and the Canadian Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA), specifically the Connected Vehicle Working Group of the APMA. The long-term vision of the project is to develop a connected vehicle bottom-up, which means that, unlike other efforts, the project only uses technology that is readily available from the participating industry partners.

The project provides a unique mix of benefits for research (lead by the research team) and industry (lead by the APMA): On the scientific side, the demonstrator permits investigating how to integrate a large number of systems into one complex system and maintain safety and security of the overall system. It creates an excellent case study for collecting data and testing new concepts that can then be transferred into industry. On the industry side the aim of the project is not to simply add a number of disparate systems, sensors, interactions and graphics into a vehicle, but more to demonstrate the art of the possible by seamlessly integrating Canadian technologies into a rolling innovation platform. At the moment the project team consists of thirteen companies, from all facets of the automotive industry (and beyond), integrating their products into a cohesive and very compelling showcase.

Web gallery for the demonstrator: [Link]

Presentation introducing the showcase

Sensor and safety aspects

  • Alcohol Countermeasure Systems
    ALCOLOCK L series device; ensures drivers are not under the influence of alcohol prior to ignition
  • B.R.A.K.E.R.S.
    Early warning system technology; provides advance notice to drivers when first responder vehicles are approaching
  • Weather Telematics
    Road surface and environmental observation platform; offers occupants and the greater connected driving community insight into current road conditions as well as dynamic routing capabilities
  • Magna International
    (1) Smart rearview mirror facilitates safer driving and indications of others on the road (2) Side light projectors (under the side view mirrors) illuminate the boarding area
  • MIS Electronics
    Next generation proximity and camera sensors; provides for front and rear view as well as full 360-degree visual sweeps

Vehicle connectivity, management and data analysis capabilities

  • Rogers Communications
    Broadband connectivity; full 4G/LTE and on board Wi-Fi, making the APMA connected vehicle Lexus truly connected
  • Intelligent Mechatronic Systems
    DriveSync platform; delivers driver and vehicle data as well as analysis through modular telematics
  • Leggett & Platt Automotive
    Helios induction charger; offers in-vehicle wireless mobile device charging
  • Pravala Networks
    Mobility management platform; enables the offloading, management and monetization of data traffic across mobile and Wi-Fi networks

Overall in-vehicle experience

  • TE Connectivity Canada
    LIN-based ambient lighting system; provides a unique, customizable in-cabin illumination experience (LIN Local Interconnect Network)
  • XYZ Interactive Technology
    GestureSense sensor; receives multi-modal motion inputs (gestures) as commands for Human Machine Interaction (HMI) interaction
  • Lixar
    Cohesive design philosophy (and assets); combines all of the technologies into the In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system, ensuring human factors representation
  • QNX Software Systems
    Award winning CAR2 operating system platform; serves as the basis for the entire in-cabin experience, including the digital instrument cluster and primary console touchscreen as well as the initial, primary effort to seamlessly stitch these technologies together
  • APMA
    Representation of the OEM producers; severs are the lead on the industry side of the project with marketing and showcasing the connected vehicle
  • University of Waterloo
    WatCAR & ESG Group

    Technology integration; on-going optimization of user interactions with each participating companys on-board equipment and software

Completed Events Showcasing the Vehicle

The demonstrator has been shown at the following events. The list only shows a selection, since the demonstrator has also been presented at private events.


OCE-Discovery 2014 (Ontario Canada), Cdn Council of Motor Transport Administrators (Ontario Canada), APMA Annual Conference (Ontario Canada) Magna Tech Show (Michigan USA), Toyota Tech Show (Michigan USA), ASME Show (Buffalo USA), JAPIA Tech Show (Michigan USA), ITS show (Michigan USA), Ford Tech Show (Michigan USA), AIAG Tech Show (Michigan USA)


  • OCE-Discovery 2015, Toronto, Ontario, April 27 and 28, 2015
  • ITS Canada, Gatineau, Ontario, May 25 and 27, 2015
  • APMA Conference, Windsor, Ontario, June 2 to 4, 2015
  • Delphi, Palo Alto, California, June 15, 2015
  • Ford, Palo Alto, California, June 15, 2015
  • Honda, Palo Alto, California, June 16, 2015
  • Continental, San Jose, California, June 17, 2015
  • FIAT Chrysler, San Jose, California, June 17, 2015
  • Toyota, San Jose, California, June 17, 2015
  • Auto Tech Council, San Jose, California, June 19, 2015
  • Toyota Canada (TMMC), Cambridge Ontario, September 11 and 14, 2015
  • Univ. of Waterloo Innovation Days, Waterloo Ontario, September 16 to 18, 2015
  • Ministry of Transportation Ontario Policy Planning Meeting, Toronto, October 8, 2015
  • Toyota North America Innovation Showcase,Erlanger KY, October 15 and 16, 2015
  • MEDEI media Tour, Ottawa Ontario, November 18, 2015

Contact Information

Sponsors and Suppport

Each industry partner made significant contributions towards the overall project. Beyond this, the project has been supported by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario, and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Partner Sites - Information on the Connected Vehicle

Industry partners have created their own presence for the connected vehicle project to highlight their particular parts of the connected vehicle. The following lists some of these sites: