The CEO of General Motors says Ontario’s strength in advanced technologies is strategically important for its plans for creating safe, driverless vehicles in the near future.
Speaking at the launch of the new centre at Markham, north of Toronto, Steve Carlisle said GM plans to open a “mobility campus” in Toronto to complement other research centres it has in the province in Oshawa, Kapuskasing and Kitchener-Waterloo, according to a report by Canada’s National Observer.
The new centre currently has 300 employees but is aiming for 700 by 2019.
“Our team here in Markham has worked on what we call Super Cruise, which is an automated driving technology we have in our Cadillac CT6s today,” the National Observer quotes Carlisle as saying.
He said the Markham team is already involved in the next generation of infotainment systems, which are finding their way into the products on the road, and a driverless car pilot project that GM wants to run in 2019.
“We haven’t announced the specific cities yet. … All of this is unfolding very quickly and so we’re doing evaluations of different cities and city situations.”
He added that uncertainty surrounding the ongoing NAFTA trade talks may have caused some companies to delay their investment decisions but GM feels there’s a better tone going into next week’s round of talks in Montreal.
“We’re engaged with all levels of government, on both sides of the border, and all the on-going consultations that are there including leading up to the Montreal round next week,” Carlisle said.