ACTIVE-AURORA project launched at the University of Alberta

The Government of Canada and its partners invest in wireless connected vehicle technology

Edmonton – The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, along with the Honourable Wayne Drysdale, Minister of Transportation of the Province of Alberta; Councillor Mike Nickel of the City of Edmonton; and Dr. Glen Baker, Associate Vice-President (Research) of the University of Alberta, announced the launch of the ACTIVE-AURORA project (on Wednesday), a unique and innovative project to advance connected vehicle technology. The launch took place during the International Conference on Transportation Innovation (ICTI), being held at the University of Alberta.

This project is a first for Canada. It will provide the opportunity for organizations to test and evaluate new and emerging connected vehicle systems, applications and services. Connected vehicles use wireless mobile devices that are present in a car or a truck to exchange information in real time with road-side equipment like traffic lights or message signs, and with other vehicles. For example, researchers will be able to test systems that would let a driver know that a collision has happened up ahead, or that traffic is slowing after the next exit, which could be used to improve traffic flow as well as safety.

ACTIVE-AURORA will provide real-world test zones, combined with laboratory settings, where conditions can be customized to simulate various situations. These facilities offer state-of-the art learning opportunities, which will strengthen Canada’s research advantage by attracting world-class researchers to test and evaluate new connected vehicle technology, as well as coaching the next generation of transportation experts.

The three-year project is being led by University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia, and will build on existing research programs and partnerships. Together, the universities will collect and analyze data that will lead to improved traffic safety and efficiency for travelers, transport companies, and other users of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and its corridors.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada’s contribution for this $3.66 million project includes $1.3 million from the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund.
  • A number of public and private partners are also providing funding and in-kind support totaling $2.36 million: the Province of Alberta, the City of Edmonton, the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
  • The ACTIVE-AURORA project consists of three test-beds and two laboratory test environments.Two on-road Alberta Cooperative Transportation Infrastructure and Vehicular Environment (ACTIVE) test-beds will be located in the greater Edmonton area.
  • One on-road Automotive Test-bed for Reconfigurable and Optimized Radio Access (AURORA) will develop, test, demonstrate and commercialize innovations in Vancouver, with particular emphasis on wireless communications for freight security and efficiency.


“This investment in connected vehicle research is an excellent example of governments and the private sector working together to develop innovative projects that address transportation and business needs. Our Government is committed to projects that support innovation, jobs, trade and long-term prosperity. This project will play an important role in advancing Canada’s transportation systems, enhancing safety on Canadian roads and helping Canadian companies to be competitive in global markets.” – The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada

“This technology holds great potential to make our roads and highways safer and more efficient – further supporting our strong economy by getting Alberta’s goods to markets across Canada and in the United States. Being at the forefront of innovation helps us maintain a high quality of life and a healthy environment for all Albertans as we strive to meet growing urban and regional transportation needs.” – The Honourable Wayne Drysdale, Minister of Transportation, Province of Alberta

“The City of Edmonton is proud to have been chosen to host this cutting edge research site. Traffic safety is consistently rated as the top concern of Edmontonians. Supporting connected vehicle research at the U of A’s Centre for Smart Transportation is just one part of the City’s integrated efforts to address that concern.” – Mayor Don Iveson, City of Edmonton

“It is through collaborations such as this, which has all levels of government providing support and, ultimately, policy and regulation of this technology, universities bringing world-class expertise and academic rigor to explore the full potential and impact of these technologies on transportation, and private industry bringing these plans to life, that we are able to have a transformative impact on motor vehicle transportation. This research will have lasting impacts on public safety and an economic impact in terms of enabling the timely delivery of goods on increasingly congested roads, and it will help us educate the next generation of transportation and information technology engineers.” – David Lynch, Dean of Engineering, University of Alberta

(Transport Canada)