The CST and the First Connected Vehicle Test Bed in Canada

A fully connected vehicle environment.
Photo Credit: USDOT

The CST is developing Canada’s first Connected Vehicle (CV) test bed: the ACTIVE-AURORA research circuit, which is a network of six on-road and in-lab test beds equipped and linked with CV technology.


The rapid pace of technological change is creating new opportunities for Canadian innovation, commercialization and investment. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) will help to lead the way in modernizing Canada’s transportation sector, networks and supply chains. In the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor (APGC) of the 21st century, investments in telematics for transportation will allow Canadian trade to remain competitive through continued improvements to capacity, productivity, efficiency, safety, sustainability and modal connectivity.


To succeed, thrive and grow, Canada’s industries, businesses, governments, schools and work force must continue to prepare for the new digital economy. To this end, the University of Alberta (U of A) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) are working together with a number of public and private sector partners to develop a major proposal to design and build a network of telematics infrastructure test beds for the APGC. 


The test beds will focus on the testing and operationally evaluating of new and emerging connected vehicle systems, applications and services for both active traffic management and freight security and efficiency. The state-of-the-art facilities will attract Canadian entrepreneurs, innovators and world-class researchers to the APGC, and support the critical research, product commercialization, education and skills training needed for the new digital economy.

The ACTIVE-AURORA Stages of Technology Development and Knowledge Transfer:



The test bed infrastructure consists of five key elements:


  • In Alberta, three on-road ACTIVE (Alberta Cooperative Transportation Infrastructure and Vehicular Environment) test bed sites are located in the greater Edmonton area. The three test bed sites currently equipped include Whitemud Drive, Anthony Henday Drive and 23 Avenue, allowing for testing on both highway and arterial corridors. These ACTIVE test beds will enhance the U of A’s capacity to partner with government, industry and academic stakeholders to develop, test, demonstrate and commercialize innovations with particular emphasis on data for the active traffic management.
  • In British Columbia, the on-road AURORA (AUtomotive test bed for Reconfigurable and Optimized Radio Access) test bed will cover up to 10 km along both two- and four-lane roadway within and adjacent to the UBC campus. AURORA will incorporate a range of new and emerging wireless technologies such as Long Term Evolution (LTE), and 5.9 GHz Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC), and permit a variety of radio and network configurations. The test bed aligns with the UBC “campus as a living lab” initiative , enhancing  UBC’s capacity to partner with industry, government and academic stakeholders to develop, test, demonstrate and commercialize innovations  with particular emphasis on wireless communications for freight security and efficiency.
  • At both the universities, on-campus learning and commercialization laboratory test bed facilities have been implemented. The ACTIVE lab at U of A in Edmonton and AURORA lab at UBC in Vancouver provide industry and university researchers and students with facilities for creating software applications, testing hardware components, simulation and modeling tolls, and for collecting and analyzing the data and results obtained from the ACTIVE and AURORA test beds. These integrated and modern facilities will enhance the universities’ ability to attract, educate and train skilled labour and highly qualified personnel for the digital economy.

The ACTIVE-AURORA test bed infrastructure provides both U of A and UBC with the ability to actively collaborate with other industrial and research organizations from across Canada and around the world. In addition, direct linkages to the Vancouver-based Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre will increase the exposure of research performed on the ACTIVE-AURORA test beds to start-ups, small and medium enterprises, large corporations and international organizations in the wireless communications sector and spur the development and commercialization of innovative products and services in relevant to active traffic management and freight security and efficiency by Canadian industry for the APGC and beyond.

Together, the on-campus and on-road test beds will build upon existing programs, collaborations and partnerships at U of A and UBC to provide Canadian governments, industry, and university stakeholders with the facilities and expert personnel that they require to showcase, demonstrate and evaluate new and innovative applications, commercial products and services in a real-world environment for the APGC. 


ACTIVE-AURORA Test Bed Interactions: