Smart Mobility

Innovative Technology Drives the Future of Canada’s Smart Mobility Hub

Ottawa has a strong history of innovation and as a diverse technology hub that is fueled by top-notch talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and robust research and development (R&D) capabilities. With 90% of Canada’s industrial telecommunications research taking place in Canada’s Capital, the smart mobility ecosystem in Ottawa is built on decades of innovation and expertise, education and research excellence, multi-national industry partners and local sector leaders.

Canadian innovators and companies in Ottawa are driving the smart mobility revolution and creating new capabilities and solutions for every sector of our economy – from intelligent transportation to defense, public safety, smart farming, telecommunications, cleantech and smart cities. Our academic institutions provide specialized training and research in machine learning, computer science and robotics which further help support the industry with access to talent and valuable partnerships.

Ottawa is also home to Area X.O, a futureplex of innovation and collaboration that enables and accelerates breakthrough innovation in next generation technologies. This state-of-the-art R&D facility offers a safe and secure environment to create, test and demonstrate future mobility, autonomy and connected technologies.

Why Ottawa is an ideal location for smart mobility leaders:

    • Ottawa has the highest concentration of tech talent (as a percentage of a city’s total employment) in North America at 13.3 percent (CBRE 2023)
    • Home to 65 federal research labs, including several facilities operated by the National Research Council such as the Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre which offers research, technical and engineering services, and develops innovative technology solutions to meet materials and manufacturing challenges to help Canada be more competitive through innovations in mobility and manufacturing excellence.
    • Home to Area X.O, a one-of-a-kind technology-rich, secure research and development complex created for all-weather experimentation.
    • Smart Mobility leader Blackberry QNX as well as multinationals such as Ford, Ericsson and Nokia and local smart mobility innovators are attracting top talent to the city.

Smart Mobility Companies in Ottawa

Examples of Ottawa's Smart Mobility Brilliance

Area X.O

Area X.O is the first integrated, end-to-end CAV test environment of its kind in North America. Located in west Ottawa on an 1,850-acre private gated site, Area X.O allows innovators to bring tech closer to market readiness sooner. Area X.O is equipped with one of the most advanced communications infrastructures in the world with 5G, real-world urban and rural mobility infrastructure with a 16km test track and comprehensive networking and sensor infrastructure connected to a centralized command centre. In addition, Area X.O offers access to crash avoidance target equipment, an autonomous Lexus 450H, Aurrigo Low Speed Autonomous Shuttles and a 4G/5G-enabled mobile emergency command station.

Blackberry QNX

In February 2019, BlackBerry QNX (headquartered in Ottawa) and the Government of Canada announced a joint investment of $350M to develop safe and secure software systems for next-generation CAVs. Area X.O is a second home to this CAV leader. “Autonomous vehicles and the smart cities that they drive in will only reach their full potential if the industry comes together to address future potholes that will come from a lack of cybersecurity and data privacy. Area. X.O provides the perfect forum to help address these challenges and ensure that the technologies that will drive our shared autonomous future are both safe and secure.” - John Wall, SVP and Co-Head, BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS), BlackBerry


In 2018, Invest Ottawa worked with Aurrigo, a first and last-mile autonomous technology leader from the UK, to establish their North American headquarters in Ottawa. Aurrigo's PodZero pods are designed to change how people are transported on the last stage of their journey from transport hubs to and from a wide range of destinations, including airports, city centres, aged care communities, university campuses, etc. Aurrigo is now partnering with Invest Ottawa to test and validate their autonomous control system (ACS) and self-driving pods at the Ottawa L5 Test Facilities in four-season conditions as part of its global growth strategy. The first Aurrigo pod arrived in Ottawa in March 2019.

InDro Robotics

InDro Robotics specializes in drones and robots to reduce the professional risks associated with the dangerous situations their customers face. InDro has landed and expanded at Area X.O and capitalized on its unique capabilities and expertise to advance their technology development, commercialization, and business. Leveraging this facility and associated technologies, they were the first company in Canada to fly a drone over 5G and the first to receive Canadian Transport Agency licence to carry commercial cargo.


Hexagon | AutonomouStuff chose Ottawa for an international office as part of its mission to empower the future of autonomy. The company saw potential in Ottawa’s futureplex — Area X.O. AutonomouStuff, part of Hexagon’s autonomy and positioning division, offers hardware, software solutions and vehicle platforms with the goal of enabling customers for on- and off-road autonomy applications. This division of Hexagon is a global technology leader, pioneering end-to-end solutions for assured positioning on land, sea and air.

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