Through large investments in self-driving, General Motors has declared itself as one of the largest players in developing autonomous vehicles. Their first step in staying committed to this goal? Expanding their autonomous vehicle facilities and laboratories in Canada.
GM Canada, alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, announced plans to expand its Canadian engineering base to reach a total of approximately 1,000 positions.
Over the next few years, GM Canada will add approximately 750 new engineering positions, adding to its current group of 250 engineers.
It will be adding manpower to key areas for autonomous vehicles, such as Autonomous Vehicle Software and Controls Development, Active Safety and Vehicle Dynamics Technology, Infotainment and Connected Vehicle Technology.
Since this will bring the Oshawa Tech Centre beyond its maximum capacity, GM will also soon open a new Automotive Software Development Centre in Markham Ontario. It will also be investing $10 million in the Kapuskasing Cold Weather testing facility, where testing is done for a wide range of new GM products and technologies.
GM is certainly not the only player in the autonomous market, as there are many companies investing in and expanding their own autonomous vehicle capabilities. Telsa is the most prominent. The company has already released its Autopilot software, currently active in its Model S platform. Speculation is rife that it will announce a Level 4 autonomous vehicle by the end of 2017.
Another major player is Google, a company almost synonymous with self-driving since its project from 2009. It has self-driven more than 1.5 million miles and has partnered with companies like Fiat to further the technology.
Other companies that are actively developing the technology include Apple, Toyota, and BMW.
It's going to be a rough ride to the top.