GM officially opens self-driving car test track in Ontario


General Motors has officially opened its CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track in Oshawa, Ontario, where its engineers can begin testing newly developed vehicle software and technology.

The automaker’s technical centers in Oshawa and Markham, Ontario, develop hardware and software for autonomous systems, active safety systems and infotainment. The oval-shaped track with four lanes allows GM to test that technology with continuous driving at speeds ranging from 60-100 km/h (37-62 mph.)

General Motors said the new Oshawa track “builds on GM’s existing vehicle testing presence in Canada.”

“Canada has become the ideal place for GM to expand its engineering work for the future – and the opening of the CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track will take that work even further,” GM Canada President Scott Bell said in a statement.

The track will assist with the development of vehicle motion embedded controls, advanced driver assistance systems, autonomous-vehicle systems, infotainment and other advanced technology.

Until now, much of the testing of the software developed in Markham or Oshawa occurs in the United States, mainly at the 4,000-acre Milford Proving Ground in Michigan.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV — a utility version of the Bolt — is an example of Canada-made software being part of GM’s electric plan. It will be the first Chevy to offer GM’s Super Cruise driver-assist technology.

“Canadian teams played an active role in the development and testing of the new Bolt EUV including Canadian Technical Centre engineers who worked on the Super Cruise system—a first for Chevrolet and the cold weather durability testing that was done at our Kapuskasing Proving Grounds in northern Ontario,” Bell said in a statement earlier this week.

The Kapuskasing Proving Grounds are a full-scale permanent cold-weather test facility that features a 2.2-mile advanced test track and 30 cold cells capable of recreating weather conditions of -49 degrees.

General Motors in May 2019 announced it would invest C$170 million to support the transition of operations at Oshawa, turning the factory into an “aftermarket plant,” producing parts while converting 55 acres of the plant property into a test track.

Since then, the automaker has committed to once again building full-size pickups at the Oshawa factory, which had ceased vehicle assembly in December 2019.

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