Global company invests in Ontario

Robust and accurate detection of environmental conditions is vital when developing safe autonomous vehicles. This requires that all sensing technologies are extremely high performance and integrated.

Radar technology is not compromised by lighting or weather conditions. However, this is a complex sensor with traditional signal processing that does not achieve the level of performance required for self driving cars.

Sensor Cortek inc., a new company specializing in the development of leading-edge embedded artificial intelligence solutions for autonomous vehicles (AV) and Valeo, a global automotive supplier and partner to automakers worldwide, are building a new generation of high definition imaging radars coupled with deep neural networks (i.e. computer systems modeled on the human brain and nervous system).


These smarter sensors, which will be able to extract the higher level of information required for self-driving cars and integrate advanced features not available in current radar sensor technology, will perform well even under poor lighting and adverse weather conditions.

AVIN has played a key role in bringing us together with a global automotive supplier, says Dr. Robert Laganiere, CEO of Sensor Cortek inc.

“There’s no doubt that the participation of AVIN in this research and development project reinforced by the renowned Canadian expertise in AI was a decisive factor in convincing Valeo to invest in Ontario.”

“From the beginning, the ambitions of AVIN and its means were aligned with the autonomous driving challenge. That also would have been enough to convince Valeo to invest in Ontario. But the relationship we have established with OCE members, from the first contact and all along the project submission phase, built a mutual trust which was decisive.”

“When the project comes to its end, the good relations established in Ontario, with AVIN, will remain, and we can then build on that for future next steps.”

“This project raised a lot of interest and expectations within Valeo. There is no doubt Sensor Cortek engineers and all the support we get from AVIN will help us to succeed,” says Dr. Julien Rebut of Valeo Canada.

Valeo offers one of the largest ranges of smart sensors and features for improving vehicle safety and comfort for enhanced automated driver-assistance and self-driving systems.

Through its Ottawa Regional Technology Development Site, AVIN has also provided the unique test bed for developing and prototyping the technology.

Sensor Cortek is currently building a large dataset of radar imagery under various urban driving scenarios.

The new test track in Ottawa is unique infrastructure that is particularly helpful to perform real-world data capture in a controlled environment, says Dr. Laganiere.

Sensor Cortek also intends to benefit from the diverse climate conditions experienced in Ottawa to test the robustness of its AI-enhanced sensor solutions, particularly during winter, he says.

“Winter driving condition are often neglected, probably because most R&D activities in AV being performed in regions having milder climates such as California.”

As a direct result of the AVIN investment, Sensor Cortek has created five new jobs for highly qualified persons.

“We are very excited to be a player in this new automotive revolution, says Dr. Laganiere.