The City of Stratford is welcoming the news that Ontario has announced the next part of its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network.

The province announced details Wednesday confirming the six Regional Technology Development Sites across Ontario which will support and enable small and medium sized enterprises to develop, prototype, test and validate new autonomous technologies.

Stratford is designated as a demonstration zone for autonomous technologies through its partnership with the Automotive Parts Manufacturing Association which means it will help with assisting companies in using the technologies they develop at the sites in a real world setting.

InvestStratford CEO Joani Gerber says Stratford is being put on the map through the autonomous network.

“Stratford is really becoming known not just provincially but also nationally and internationally as well, when we were travelling overseas to visit with our companies that are headquartered in Japan many of those companies were aware of the work that is going on here with respect to autonomous and connected driving.”

Stratford is receiving $5 million over five years through its role as a demonstration zone with the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network.