General Motors Canada announced that it’s throwing its name in the autonomous car race by creating over 700 new jobs in research and development right here in Ontario, putting local engineering students in the drivers seat, if there is such a thing in the future.
General Motors says it’s committed to expanding it’s research and development of connected and self-driving cars, which still seams like science fiction to some.
“Now is certainly not the time that we would step back and take our foot off the pedal. Although I guess with autonomous cars I don’t know, are there going to be feet on pedals? Are there going to be no hands on steering wheels,” says Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Automotive experts believe this is the most important announcement since Toyota decided to build a plant in Woodstock back in 2008. The job opportunities will be found in Oshawa, Newmarket and Waterloo.
“We’ve got an incredibly educated work force and a constantly growing network of innovative startups and suppliers,” says Justin Trudeau. Suppliers like Waterloo-based QNX, a subsidiary of blackberry, are one of the leaders of connected and autonomous driving cars. Working for companies like QNX has McMaster engineering students pretty excited.
“To get in on the ground floor of a really groundbreaking new type of technology that’s really going to happen, autonomous vehicles are really going to happen,” says Professor John Preston, McMaster University.
Of course the university is thrilled by the news out of Oshawa, but now they have a new challenge on their hands. A spike in registration to major in Engineering in the fall of 2017.
“We’re already busting at the seams but yes this will increase the demand for engineering as people see there’s an opportunity to do something really interesting and creative,” says John Preston.