Ottawa L5 Testing Facilities

Drive your CAV technology to the next level


Ottawa L5

Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are poised to revolutionize not only transportation but the way people live and work throughout the world. As technology, auto and transportation leaders around the world continue to evolve for a CAV-driven future, the testing and validation of CAV technologies is critical to ensuring the safe implementation of CAV innovations.

The Ottawa L5 test facilities offers world-class integrated testing grounds for the safe implementation of CAVs. On site, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) testing, validation and demonstration of technologies are enabled on both public and private test tracks, in Ottawa’s true four-season climate. The Ottawa L5 testing facilities are equipped with GPS (RTK), dedicated short range communications (DSRC), Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE and 5G telecommunications and networking infrastructure, making it the first integrated CAV test environment of its kind in North America.

As a tech hub with decades of internationally-recognized strengths in fields at the heart of CAV technology, Ottawa is ideally positioned to address the needs and opportunities facing CAV innovators and firms. For example, in communications technology, Ottawa is home to the top five mobile backhaul equipment market vendors, the top ten optical network hardware vendors and 90 percent of telecommunications research. The Ottawa L5 harnesses these and other capabilities, enabling users of the test track to benefit from Ottawa’s leadership in sensors, LIDARS and related technologies that represent key components of CAVs.

Today, CAVs are not fully autonomous.  Although there are many levels of automation and intelligence integrated into vehicles, there are many perspectives about when fully self-driving cars will become a reality. Driving automation levels are defined and classified from 0 to 5, with level 5 (L5) indicating full autonomy. The branding of Ottawa’s test facilities as Ottawa L5 reflects the vision, aspiration and commitment of Ottawa’s CAV leaders to enable and accelerate the safe development, validation and implementation of self-driving technology, building on the capabilities available today through to full autonomy tomorrow.

  • The Ottawa L5 private test track is a 1,866 acre, fenced and gated private facility with 16 kilometers of paved roads and a control centre housed at Bayview Yards @Greenbelt. The largest secure test facility for CAVs in Canada, the Ottawa L5 private test track creates an ideal proving grounds for the safe and productive pre-commercial development, testing, validation and demonstration of CAV technologies; and
  • The Ottawa public test track, located in Kanata North, the largest technology park in Canada, provides the CAV test environment on 9 kilometers of public roads and in a connected, live city infrastructure.

The Ottawa L5 private test track features 16 kilometers of paved roads. Top view map.

The Ottawa L5 private test track features 16 kilometers of paved roads that provide proving grounds for CAV technologies in connected and secure environments.

The Ottawa L5 public test track provides nine kilometers of paved roads. Top view map.

The Ottawa L5 public test track provides nine kilometers of paved roads that enable CAV technology testing and validation in connected and live city infrastructure.

With a strong focus on technology validation and safety, the Ottawa L5 test facilities will enable researchers, entrepreneurs, SMEs and multinationals to develop, demonstrate, and commercialize new AV technologies. It will specifically help firms to address key CAV opportunities and challenges including:

  • CAV operations in inclement weather;
  • Detection of cybersecurity threats;
  • Interoperability, data collection and analytics; and
  • Connectivity

Through entrepreneurship programming, the Ottawa L5 will support the development, commercialization and adoption of new Ottawa CAV technologies, as well as the growth and success of homegrown CAV firms. Powered by Invest Ottawa, economic development agency for Canada’s capital, the Ottawa L5 will catalyze Ottawa’s contribution to the economy and Ontario’s global CAV innovation leadership, by enabling the:

  • Commercialization of new AV technologies
  • Growth and success of homegrown AV firms
  • Attraction of new companies, investment and talent from across Canada and around the world
  • Creation of new AV jobs

Powered by Invest Ottawa, the Ottawa L5 is a Regional Technology Development Site (RTDS) in Ontario’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN). It leverages key capabilities, expertise, cash and in-kind contributions from:

  • Strategic Partners: Accenture, Avanade, Blackberry QNX, Ericsson, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, National Capital Commission (NCC), Nokia, City of Ottawa;
  • Research Partners: Algonquin College, Carleton University, La Cité collégiale, University of Ottawa;
  • Technology Partners: Aurrigo, Canal Geomatics, Cohda Wireless, MH Corbin, Hexagon NovAtel, and
  • Ecosystem Partners: CAVCOE, Kanata North Business Association.

Currently, technology fit up is underway at the Ottawa L5 private test track with demonstrations planned in the months ahead.

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Aurrigo is a leader in first and last mile autonomous technology. The ability for us to test and validate our autonomous control system (ACS) and our self-driving pods in four-season conditions is of vital importance to our global growth strategy. Ottawa’s L5 testing facilities address all of our testing needs with unique capabilities, such as vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity including 5G from Ericsson and Nokia.

David Keene
CEO of Aurrigo

Ottawa’s L5 CAV facilities will enable us to accelerate our AV testing and overall work to develop safe and secure autonomous vehicle technologies. Having the ability to do four season testing in all weather conditions within a miniature city environment is absolutely critical to the development, commercialization and adoption of new AV technologies. With the new site, BlackBerry will be able to push the limits of our technology in a safe, controlled environment and further refine our broad portfolio of automotive software solutions.

Grant Courville
VP Product Management and Strategy of BlackBerry QNX


Ottawa L5 private test facility, located on the National Capital Commission (NCC) Research Farm, is an 1,866 acre, completely fenced and gated private facility. The largest secure test facility for CAVs in Canada, the facility is equipped to be a proving ground for the safe and rapid pre-commercial development and advancement of CAV technologies.

CAV private test track

A flyover of the NCC Greenbelt Research Farm, where the Ottawa L5 CAV Private Test Track is located.



  • Secure/fenced/gated 1,866-acre plot of land
  • Smart traffic intersections
  • 16 KM of paved road
  • Pedestrian cross walk
  • One-way traffic lane
  • Bike lanes
  • Left turn lane
  • Stop signs
  • Parking lot
  • Street lights
  • Speed bump


  • High definition cameras
  • Sensors for temperature, humidity, barometer, pressure, wind, motion, acoustics
  • Road pavement temperature for icy conditions
  • Private cellular network provisioned for the entire site
  • Leading communications infrastructure: DSRC, GPS-RTK, LTE/4G, Wi-Fi and 5G
  • HD map (Baidu Apollo) of the entire site


Ottawa L5 public test facility, located in Kanata North Technology Park, the largest technology park in Canada, provides the CAV test environment on public roads and with live city infrastructure.

BlackBerry QNX AV demonstration

BlackBerry QNX AV demonstration on the Ottawa L5 CAV Public Test Track, October 2017.



  • 9 KM of paved public roads
  • 5 traffic lights enabled with DSRC
  • GPS-RTK, 4G-LTE and 5G for V2I, V2V, V2P and V2N
  • 9 Pedestrian cross walks
  • 5 Cameras and sensors suite


Challenge: AV/CV operations in inclement weather

Solution: Ottawa, with its distinct four seasons, provides particularly ideal inclement weather conditions, such as snow, ice, fog and high winds, for CAVs to be tested in.

Challenge: Detection of cybersecurity threats

Solution: Ottawa L5 network infrastructure promotes a multi-layered approach to identifying and analyzing cybersecurity threats to CAVs through a multi-level and controlled test environment.

Challenge: Interoperability, data collection and analytics

Solution: Ottawa L5’s platform collects data from their sources (sensors, cars, cameras, etc.) and makes proprietary tools available for data analytics in real time for a plethora of use cases. The L5’s platform facilitates interoperability between different applications and data silos by adopting standardized interfaces and communication protocols.

Challenge: Connectivity

Solution: Ottawa L5 facilities offer V2X connectivity for the validation of a variety of communication use cases, including Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (city) (V2I), and Vehicle-to-Network (V2N). The L5 test facilities also provide accurate and precise location information via GPS technology and sensors, thereby facilitating safe path maneuver testing for hidden objects.


The Ottawa L5’s state-of-the-art and multi-tier test environment is capable of validating a wide range use cases throughout the continuum of AV/CV technology development.

Our offerings include:

  • Conceptual and feasibility testing
  • Component and integration testing
  • Controlled system testing
  • Controlled public road testing
  • Real public road environment

Applications include:

  • Autonomous trucks
  • Shared autonomous shuttles
  • CAVs for personal use
  • “Smart city” applications (e.g. intelligent transportation systems)
  • Startup CAV applications and technologies


    Technical Services

  • Engineering and IT support services
  • Customized CAV test and validation services
  • ‘CAV starter kit’ to expedite test bed integration (radios, SIM card)

    Logistical Services

  • On-site Ottawa L5 team support
  • Project definition and fit up services
  • Demonstration and visitor centre
  • Test equipment and vehicle storage
  • On-site office spaces

    Entrepreneur Program

  • Co-location work spaces
  • Education and business advisory services
  • Investor introductions
  • Networking and events
  • Public relations support

    Foreign Investment

  • Soft landing services
  • Research and talent development
  • Client matchmaking
  • Networking and events


Strategic Partners






Research Partners


Research Partners

Technology Partners




Ecosystem Partners

The Ottawa L5 is an AVIN hub made possible thanks to the support of

To learn more about Ottawa L5's capabilities, services, partnership opportunities, and how we can help advance your CAV technology, please get in touch.