Press Release

Area X.O Launches New Simulation Discovery Portal

May 17, 2023

Free simulation portal helps smart mobility startups and scale-ups get innovations to market faster.

Area X.O, the R&D complex for next-gen smart mobility, autonomy and connectivity technologies founded and operated by Invest Ottawa, today announced a new virtual environment for testing smart mobility solutions. Powered by Ansys, a leader in simulation software, the Area X.O Simulation Discovery Portal provides new simulation capabilities and showcases a digital twin of the physical Area X.O facility. It will enable innovators and companies to test and refine their innovations virtually from almost any location before moving to in-person testing with physical infrastructure, maximizing their time, resources and productivity. Simulation allows them to predict and validate the functional safety and performance of their solution for the real world before investing in further product development. This will help companies get smart mobility technologies to market faster and accelerate their safe adoption across many sectors of our economy, from intelligent transportation to defence, public safety, smart farming, aerospace, smart cities and advanced communications.


“Area X.O’s simulation capabilities can dramatically reduce development time by helping tech innovators solve problems during the design phase,” says Michael Tremblay, CEO of Invest Ottawa. “By working with Area X.O and our simulation experts, small- and medium-sized businesses can fully scope their innovations and gain confidence in their solution before moving to a physical test facility, which demands more time and resources.”   


Developed in partnership with Ansys and leveraging critical support from FedDev Ontario, the Area X.O Simulation Discovery Portal works by using physics, lighting, behavioural scripting, and physical and material characteristics to simulate different road, weather, and lighting conditions. “The real world is messy, so it’s essential for software to handle many different edge use-case scenarios,” explains Rachael Patraw, Business Operations Manager for Area X.O and Project Manager for the simulation project. “By building simulation into their testing, developers can validate software in situations that are expensive, impractical, or dangerous to test in the real world. This lets them identify and fix potential issues and bugs, making sure their software reacts quickly and appropriately to all situations – even those that might be unusual and rare.”   


To help many different innovators, startups and established companies explore and benefit from these capabilities, Area X.O is creating a simulation community that provides free access to discover Area X.O simulation assets. It will connect these technology developers and firms to a broader R&D community; create opportunities to learn about the benefits of simulation; enable access to MathWorks software and Ansys curated content; and create the ability to experience and interact with Area X.O assets in a virtual environment.   


Qualified companies will have the opportunity to leverage the full suite of Area X.O simulation tools, technologies and capabilities in their smart mobility R&D. This will enable these innovators to access the Area X.O Digital Twin and associated expertise to work in greater ways, and leverage a full range of onsite capabilities and technologies at Area X.O. This includes one of the most advanced communications infrastructures in the world, cutting-edge AI and data analytic technologies, cybersecurity capabilities, IOT and AI-based sensors, roadside units, test dummies, the command centre, the Ottawa Smart Farm, and V2X infrastructure.  


Area X.O will highlight these new simulation capabilities and the value proposition for entrepreneurs, innovators and companies at the annual Ansys Canada Innovation Conference on May 17 in Ottawa. Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, will deliver a keynote at the event, and Sonya Shorey, VP, Strategy, Marketing and Communications will serve as a speaker on the Women in Tech panel.   


“Powered by Ansys’ industry-leading simulation solutions, the Area X.O Simulation Discovery Portal will help enable companies to reduce the need for physical prototyping as they virtually test and validate their innovations,” said Prith Banerjee, Chief Technology Officer at Ansys. “Our partnership with Invest Ottawa on the Area X.O initiative continues to advance smart mobility in Canada and beyond, and we look forward to seeing how this new virtual environment will empower businesses in the development and delivery of their transformative technologies.”  


The ability to run identical tests under different conditions makes simulation extremely useful for testing a wide range of software innovations, such as self-driving systems and machine vision algorithms, that must work safely and reliably in diverse environments and conditions.  Simulation is also effective for certain types of hardware testing. Because it can mimic low-level physical characteristics, companies can test prototype technology – such as lidar, radar, or V2X hardware – to see if basic real-world and system constraints can be met before proceeding to prototype construction. This makes hardware design less costly and iterative, helping companies bring their technology to market faster.   


Area X.O simulation leverages a baseline Digital Twin that was initially created by Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) and evolves it with new capabilities, digital assets and data. Building on strategic pan-Ontario collaboration, IWE and Invest Ottawa will work together to help innovators and companies put these new Ansys simulation capabilities to work in powerful ways.  


“Invest WindsorEssex has been providing advanced simulation services to SME’s for over 5 years now. We are proud to collaborate with the team at Invest Ottawa to support Autotech SMEs needing advanced Ansys simulation tools,” says Ed Dawson, Senior Manager, Automobility and Innovation, Invest WindsorEssex. “Each site provides companies with specific simulation services and working together with Area X.O, allows us to provide a full suite of support for these companies. Through the Invest WindsorEssex Virtual Reality (VR) CAVE, we have the ability to test hardware, software and driver-in-the-loop scenarios on various automotive technologies. We have also created a compendium of digital test tracks to simulate accurate, real-world environments, including the most recent Area X.O. digital track. We look forward to working closely with the Area X.O team.”   


About Area X.O  

Area X.O is the all-weather experimentation and R&D complex in Canada’s Capital that enables and accelerates the safe and secure development, testing, and application of next-generation smart mobility, connectivity and autonomy technologies. Combining diverse expertise with Ottawa’s telecom and cybersecurity strengths as a tech hub, Area X.O helps local, national, and global startups, SMEs, multinationals, and governments address grand challenges and opportunities, and get to market faster. It is the only all-weather R&D complex of its kind in North America with a private and public Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) test facility on city streets that fuels the creation, commercialization and adoption of breakthrough innovations that benefit our community, economy and environment. These applications span telecom; smart agriculture; defence, security, and public safety; unmanned aerial vehicles; and smart cities. Established and managed by Invest Ottawa, Area X.O leverages critical support from world-class founding partners. These include: the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the City of Ottawa, Accenture, BlackBerry QNX, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, and Ottawa’s post-secondary institutions.

For additional information, please visit:    


About Invest Ottawa  

Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in Ottawa. Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative, inclusive, and future-ready city, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development, global expansion and talent programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms. These include small business training, mentorship, acceleration for technology firms, foreign business and investment attraction, local business retention and expansion in targeted sectors, commercialization, and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life.  Invest Ottawa is also the manager of Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s innovation hub and one-stop business acceleration shop; and founder and operator of Area X.O, the R&D complex for next-gen smart mobility, autonomy and connectivity technologies. Since 2013, Invest Ottawa has supported almost 14,000; contributed to the creation of more than 14,700 jobs; helped domestic companies raise $1.86 billion in capital; and attracted $1.47 billion in domestic and foreign direct investment to Ottawa.

For more information, please visit:     

Share this: