General Motors announced its new test center for advanced vehicles outside Toronto is up and running.
The McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track, or MATT, at the Canadian Technical Center is now open for testing vehicle software and technologies supporting GM goal of a future “that is self-driven, all-electric, and highly connected,” company officials said.
“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,” said Scott Bell, GM Canada president and managing director.
“We’re excited for the next big step forward in advanced technology development and testing – right here in Oshawa,” added Bell, who said the official grand opening event with external audiences is being planned for early spring, pending COVID-19 restrictions.
Ready for testing
Bell, however, noted the track is now “operational” and it features an oval for continuous driving. It has four lanes with speeds ranging from 60-100 kilometers per hour.
With GM increasing its investment in new electric and autonomous vehicles, the track will assist with the development and integration of software and hardware for advanced vehicle systems, including vehicle motion embedded controls, advanced driver assistance systems, autonomous vehicle systems, infotainment and advanced technology work.
With the opening of the track, engineers at the Canadian Technical Center can put their “code-to-the-road.”
More work at Oshawa
The 55-acre CTC sits at the southern-end of the Oshawa Operations and expands GM’s Canadian technology footprint to four sites.
With campuses in Markham and Oshawa and the Kapuskasing Proving Grounds in northern Ontario, the CTC has grown to become the largest software engineering and development center for GM outside the U.S.
The investment in the CTC test track originally was announced in May 2019, when GM invested $134 million in its Canadian operations.
The CTC MATT also builds on GM’s existing vehicle testing presence in Canada, which is already taking place at the Kapuskasing Proving Grounds. Featuring a 3.6km advanced test track and 30 cold cells capable of recreating weather conditions of -45 degrees Celcius.
The site in Kapuskasing is a full-scale permanent cold weather test facility. All GM North American vehicle programs must complete cold weather exposure testing as part of their overall durability requirement, which is always managed by the Kapuskasing Proving Grounds team, according to GM.