General Motors Canada today announced a plan to create 100 jobs at its Oshawa-based Canadian Engineering Centre to develop ‘connected’ and green technologies it believes its customers want to see in future automobiles.
GM says the new positions are for “software and controls” engineers who will be tasked with supporting $190 million worth of annual research at the Oshawa site and the company’s cold-weather testing facility at Kapuskasing, in northern Ontario.
The company is quick to play up the mobile hotspot tech new to most of its models in the last couple of years, which allows drivers to use high-speed data links to provide wifi access in the vehicle; it’s this kind of ‘connected’ car tech GM says are integral to modern safety, environmental and ‘infotainment’ features the buyers of modern cars expect to see in their vehicles.
No doubt some of the new hires will work on vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology, and a feature called “Super Cruise,” which will essentially allow a driver to surrender control to the car’s electronics for extended periods; GM says both of these items will appear on Cadillac models for the 2017 model year.
“We are making this investment because we see an opportunity to take advantage of a wealth of talent in mobile technologies, software and advanced automotive engineering available in Canada’s leading universities and other partner organizations,” said Steve Carlisle, GM Canada’s president and managing director (and apparent lover of bad clichés). “Canada has the bench strength and, to borrow a famous hockey analogy, this is where the puck is going.”
Job creation is always good news, but what GM didn’t talk about was the future of its Oshawa assembly plant; the company has said we’ll have to wait until next year to learn whether it will bring production of a new model(s) to the factory.