Canada's Project Arrow zero-emissions vehicle to begin its journey in Windsor
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
The Windsor Star/Dave Waddell
Windsor was the birthplace of the Canadian auto industry a century ago, and it will also be where the first all-Canadian zero-emissions vehicle will begin its journey.
The Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association released its request for proposals to supply components for the Arrow at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday while also announcing partnerships with the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation and YQGTech.
“The project is set up for the two bookends at the ends of the automotive supply sector, Windsor and Oshawa,” APMA president Flavio Volpe said.
“The Windsor end will do the virtual build and digital twinning of the Arrow. It will establish the engineering architecture that is so critical.”
The deadline to submit an RFP is March 1. For more information visit: https://projectarrow.ca/
The Virtual Reality Cave at WEEDC’s Institute of Border Logistics and Security will be used to create the Arrow’s digital twin. The VR Cave was also used to put together the APMA’s videos used for Monday’s virtual announcement.
Windsor-based YQGTech is an artificial intelligence and machine learning software and analytics firm.
YQGTech’s AI portal will be used to help manufacturers fill out their RFP. It tracks submissions, identifies components that are most compatible and red-flags shortages in the procurement process.
“There are going to be over 200 suppliers and thousands of parts and components,” said YQGTech founder Harpreet Virk.
“This portal connects manufacturers to the specific requests of Project Arrow. It leverages the strengths of the supply chain.
“It’s totally digital and paperless.”
As the portal identifies procurement and collects data, Virk said the digital twin can be built piece-by-piece like adding to a jigsaw puzzle.
Such technology, he said, is the future of Windsor’s development into an auto mobility hub but can also be used in other sectors such as health care and agriculture.
“Windsor is a very important part of this project,” Virk said. “People are going to see the capabilities here.
“At (Monday’s) presentation in (Las Vegas), Windsor was on the world stage and you would’ve thought this whole project was being done here.”
Volpe said the physical building of the car, which was designed by Carleton University’s industrial design students, will be done at Oshawa’s Ontario Tech University.
With Windsor also designated by the Autonomous Vehicle Integration Network and the Ontario Centres of Excellence programs as the regional development hub for cross-border technologies and cyber security, he added that the local area will play a big role in the testing of the vehicle’s safety, connectivity and autonomous driving capabilities.
“When the list of suppliers comes out, everyone is going to be surprised by some of the names of Windsor companies on it,” Volpe said. “They expect the traditional suppliers, but we had to come here to start the project for more than that reason.