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General Motors Self-Driving Car News and Other Tech Updates: GM’s Research And Development More Focused on Autonomous-Vehicle Technology in Ontario, Canada

By John Zayan , Jun 13, 2016 08:01 AM EDT

General Motors (GM) is keen in boosting its research efforts to further support its program in developing new technologies in Canada by hiring extra staff. GM said that improving self-driving technology will be their main focus.

According to Autoblog, "Commercial and regulatory progress towards autonomous-vehicle technology is taking place on both sides of the US/Canada border." In line with this, General Motors' operations in Canada and the US federal government are putting needed resources to accelerate both technology and laws affiliated with autonomous-vehicle production.

GM said on Friday that number of engineers will increase to about 1,000 at its operations facility near Toronto. The company added that most of the would-be added engineers will focus in providing features on autonomous driving.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is with Premier Kathleen Wynne during GM's announcement. The focus on self-driving technology will further push more manufacturing and technology investment in Ontario, where GM's six Chevrolet models are produced. GM already started its process of hiring new engineers.

Newly hired engineers will work on vehicle technology improvement and improve related features like infotainment, safety and connectivity. In addition to this, an Automotive Software Development Center will be added by GM in Markham, which is situated 20 miles in the north of Toronto. Just last month, GM said that an autonomous taxi model of the Chevy Volt will also be developed in cooperation with the ride-hailing app Lyft.

Related update on INAUTONEWS added that aside from the hiring process and autonomous-driving technology focus, GM Canada also opened its 2908 Communitech Innovation Lab, which is a facility in Waterloo, Ontario that focuses on smartphone applications, improving urban mobility and related vehicle innovations.

GM Executive VP for Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, Mark Reuss announced, "We selected Canada for this expansion because of its clear capacity for innovation, proven talent and strong ecosystem of great universities, startups and innovative suppliers. With this expansion, GM Canada will play an important role in our evolution toward vehicles that are connected, autonomous, shared and electric."

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