A lit­tle town west of toronto is do­ing big things

Toronto Life - - This City -

strat­ford, the sleepy On­tario ham­let known for stag­ing Shake­speare and rear­ing Justin Bieber, has qui­etly trans­formed it­self into a high­tech hub. Since 2009, the town has wel­comed a satel­lite Univer­sity of Water­loo cam­pus for dig­i­tal me­dia, a start-up ac­cel­er­a­tor and an au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle fa­cil­ity from the semi­con­duc­tor com­pany Re­ne­sas, which will be up and run­ning by Oc­to­ber. When the prov­ince ear­marked $80 mil­lion to re­search self-driv­ing cars, it made Strat­ford ground zero. Over the next year or two, re­searchers will test cars do­nated by man­u­fac­tur­ers like Toy­ota on a closed track be­fore they hit the city’s streets. The cars, op­er­ated by backup driv­ers, won’t be chauf­feur­ing the­atre­go­ers around quite yet, but the goal is to test the ve­hi­cles’ brains in all sea­sons to make sure they’re road ready.

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