The Canada Foundation for Innovation is funding a Concordia University-led research project on the development of resilient smart cities. The research is rethinking Quebec’s electrical grid to accommodate the growing popularity of electrical vehicles while making sure it is secure and scalable.

Chadi Assi, professor at Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, is tackling the issues through a research project recently funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Assi’s project is part of more than $518 million in funding support to infrastructure needs of universities and research institutions across the country that were announced recently by the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry.

Chadi Assi will lead an interdisciplinary team of electrical engineering,
cybersecurity and artificial intelligence experts. (Image: Concordia University.)

CFI supports institutions and their researchers in building on established capabilities to accelerate current research and technology development, or to enhance emerging strategic priority areas.

Toward Intelligent and Resilient Smart Cities with Energy-Vehicle-Human Interactions, the working title of the project Assi is leading, has attracted $1.8 million in total funding and is gearing up to launch interdisciplinary labs in summer 2021.

“We will build a safe, secure and resilient network that will allow Internet of Things (IoT)–connected smart cities to thrive and grow,” said Assi. “I will lead a team of 10 faculty to create prototypes of scalable infrastructures in three key areas of research.”

Three research areas to help make smart cities a reality:

  1. Develop a reliable energy system that empowers mobility, connectivity and sustainability of smart cities in all conditions.
    The lab will house a prototype of a power grid that is resilient, secure and reliable as well as supportive of electric vehicle integration, as Quebec moves to shift to electric vehicles by 2035.
  2. Secure control of intelligent transportation systems.
    The goal is to create a networked infrastructure for autonomous wireless systems. Drones, electric vehicles and traffic lights could talk to each other seamlessly with minimal human intervention over a secured network.
  3. Human-machine interfacing within human-in-the-loop cyberphysical system.
    Imagine driving your autonomous electric vehicle — remotely.

The project has received additional funding from the Québec Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation and Concordia.

For further information, visit:

Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering

Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science

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