Commercial and regulatory progress towards autonomous-vehicle technology is taking place on both sides of the US/Canada border, as General Motors' Canada operations and the US federal government are putting resources into speeding up both technology and laws. GM on Friday said it would more than triple the number of engineers at its facility near Toronto to about 1,000 during the next few years, and most of those new engineers will focus on autonomous-driving features. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne were on hand for the announcement, as the province of Ontario pushes for more technology and manufacturing investment. GM already started the hiring process for the new positions.

The self-driving focus would complement GM operations in Ontario, where the automaker makes six models. Engineers will be working on improving vehicle technology related to connectivity, safety, and infotainment. In addition to the new hires, GM will add a new Automotive Software Development Center in Markham, about 20 miles north of Toronto. Notably, GM said last month that it was working with ride-hailing service Lyft to develop an autonomous taxi version of the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle.

Meanwhile, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may be responding to automakers' demands for clarity on self-driving regulations by putting out a new batch of laws related to autonomous driving features as soon as next month, the Detroit News says. Priorities will likely include vehicle-operating rules and the process of making state laws consistent with each other. Other regulations that may be determined include whether items such as a steering wheel or brake pedals are required in autonomous-driven cars, or if a licensed driver needs to be behind the wheel. Additionally, for those fans of bureaucracy out there, the feds may even create a separate regulatory entity specifically for self-driving vehicles.

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General Motors Announces Expansion of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Engineering and Software Development Work in Canada to Reach Approximately 1000 Positions With Oshawa Tech Centre Now at Capacity, GM Will Open New Markham Software Centre this Year

Oshawa, Ont. (June 10, 2016) – General Motors was today joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne in Oshawa to announce a major expansion of its engineering and software work in Canada with focus on supporting the development of innovative new automotive systems and technologies for the future.

GM will expand its Canadian engineering base to reach a total of approximately 1000 positions over the next few years. The new GM Canada work will be focused in the areas of Autonomous Vehicle Software & Controls Development, Active Safety and Vehicle Dynamics Technology, Infotainment and Connected Vehicle Technology, all important areas for the development of new connected, autonomous and shared vehicles and mobility systems.

This will bring the Oshawa Tech Centre beyond its maximum capacity and as a result, GM will also soon open a new Automotive Software Development Centre in Markham Ontario. Hiring for the new positions has commenced and more details will follow in the weeks ahead.

Additionally, GM will be investing $10 million in its Kapuskasing Cold Weather testing facility which is an important part of our engineering capability based in Canada where we conduct important testing for a wide range of new GM products and technologies.

GM Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, Mark Reuss stated that, "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."

Steve Carlisle, President and Managing Director, General Motors Canada, said, "A dynamic new innovation cluster is emerging here to support some of the most exciting work in our global industry. We look forward to working with Canada's leaders and innovation partners to place Canada at the forefront of the key transportation technologies that are changing our world for the better. "

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "The investments announced today will create good paying jobs, grow Canada's middle class, and ensure a brighter future for all Canadians. Meeting with CEO Mary Barra at the World Economic Forum, I made the case for investing in Canada. I applaud GM for choosing Canada to be the home base for its global centre for advanced vehicle software development."

Premier Kathleen Wynne said, "Our government welcomes the long-term commitment to Ontario that GM has shown with this investment. Our province's talented and highly skilled workforce, world-class research universities and leadership in innovation make Ontario a great place to grow a business. Our investments in people's talent and skills and in the transition to a low-carbon economy are helping us deliver on our top priority - creating jobs and growth."

Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development said, "GM Canada's announcement of new engineering jobs shows the world that Canada is a lead player in a competitive global industry. Canada has a world-class automotive sector and the innovative capacity to build the car of the future. Key to our strengths are the talented and creative people with the ability to transform bright ideas into cutting-edge products. These talented people demonstrate how Canadians support companies in their drive to become global leaders in their field. Our government is committed to partnerships with industry that encourage new investments, high-value exports and the creation of new jobs that result in a stronger auto sector and a growing, thriving middle class."

Hon. Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure said. "Today's announcement sends a positive signal to the global auto industry that Ontario is the ideal location for developing and commercializing disruptive technologies. Our government will continue its close partnerships with industry, labour, and the innovation sector to secure the province's long-term future as a leader for auto innovation and advanced manufacturing. Congratulations to GM Canada on this significant achievement, and we look forward to our continued partnership."

Earlier this year, GM Canada opened its 2908 Communitech Innovation Lab in Waterloo, Ontario with focus on incubating urban mobility and connected vehicle innovations. In April, the company also announced its purchase of property in south eastern Toronto as the base for a new Urban Mobility Campus to be comprised of office space, research & development facilities, vehicle sales and services including sales of electric vehicles.

More information about GM Canada's work in automotive innovation can be found at www.gminnovates.ca.

About General Motors in Canada

Headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario, General Motors of Canada employs more than 9,000 people across the country. GM Canada markets the full range of fuel-efficient Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles and related services through Canada's largest automotive dealer network. More information regarding GM vehicles can be found at www.gm.ca. To learn more about innovation and the future of the automotive industry visit www.gminnovates.ca or follow @GMcanada and #GMInnovatesCA on Twitter.

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Quotes from Canada's Innovation Network

Roseann O'Reilly Runte, President, Carleton University - "This excellent announcement of employment opportunities augurs well for the fine engineering graduates of schools across Ontario. GM Canada President Carlisle has visited Carleton University, met with faculty and students, listened to their visions and viewed their projects. I believe he has visited nearly every University in Ontario with a School of Engineering. This outreach is significant and demonstrates a true desire to connect with current researchers and to encourage the next generation. At Carleton University, we are pleased to support his efforts and build ever opportunities to collaborate."

Iain Klugman, CEO, Communitech - "We're thrilled to see General Motors expanding their engineering and software facilities in Ontario. Through their 2908 Communitech Innovation Lab, GM has begun to tap into the startup ecosystem and talent base that exists in the Toronto – Waterloo corridor, and this expanded presence will provide even more opportunities for meaningful collaboration to develop the transportation and mobility systems of the future."

Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University - "McMaster University welcomes this important strategic investment in the future of Canada's automotive industry by General Motors, our longtime partner As one of this country's top research-intensive universities, McMaster's engineering graduates are among the best in the world and now thanks to this visionary commitment, there are more opportunities for them right here in Ontario."

Mohamed Lachemi, President, Ryerson University - "As Canada's leading innovation university, Ryerson is pleased and excited that General Motors Canada is taking the bold step of expanding its engineering base to focus on next-generation automotive technology. GM's decision is transformative, and will undoubtedly provide even more momentum to the robust ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation in Ontario. Ryerson's talented students, graduates and faculty are eager to take part in GM's strategy to shape the future of this vital sector."

Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen's University - "As Queen's University remains a proud supplier of talented and innovative Canadian engineers, we are excited by today's announcement and offer our congratulations to General Motors on this important investment. Queen's looks forward to providing highly skilled graduates to drive Ontario's leadership in sustainable and progressive mobility systems, including the automotive sector."

Tim McTiernan, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ontario Institute of Technology - "The University of Ontario Institute of Technology remains proud of and committed to our long-standing community partnership with our Oshawa neighbour General Motors. We welcome news of the company's plans to expand its Canadian engineering base, since it will create even more opportunities for our highly skilled graduates to excel in tomorrow's workplace."

Andrew Petter, President, Simon Fraser University - "Simon Fraser University welcomes this major commitment to accelerate automotive innovation in Canada. With our SFU Innovates strategy and our strengths in mechatronics systems engineering, computing science and automotive research, SFU stands ready to support GM's efforts with highly skilled graduates and leading researchers who can help drive cutting-edge advancements in automotive systems and technologies."

Meric Gertler, President University of Toronto - "We welcome the news that GM is expanding its engineering and software facilities in Ontario, and we look forward to the new opportunities for collaboration that this announcement signals. University of Toronto faculty and students across a range of disciplines – computer science, management, engineering and others – are working in areas related to urban mobility and transportation innovation. This announcement enhances Ontario's status as a global innovation leader and will help ensure that the talent developed at world-leading institutions like U of T remains here."

Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo - "The University of Waterloo and General Motors share a similar vision for innovation in Canada, driven by deep expertise in transformative technologies, as well as by developing exceptional talent. GM and Waterloo are already working together on projects such as Professor Amir Khajepour's work in our Faculty of Engineering to help build driver aids that make modern vehicles safer. I am encouraged that GM continues to invest in Canadian R&D and exceptional talent development - together we will ensure Ontario takes its rightful place on the world innovation stage."

Amit Chakma, President and Vice-Chancellor, Western University - "Western is excited to be training engineers in many of these key areas and look forward to having great employment opportunities for them to pursue in Ontario. Our new 3C+ Engineering building will provide the labs and training for developing these types of applications and experience. Our Advanced Manufacturing partnership between Western, McMaster University and University of Waterloo will complement GM's opportunities and advancements."

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