GM Canada president and managing director Steve Carlisle has announced that GM’s Canadian Engineering Centre is growing into an innovation hub for the ‘connected car’ and green technologies, two areas of growing importance for automotive customers and the future of the auto sector.

The Oshawa-based centre is now hiring about 100 software and controls engineers to support a new mandate related to ‘connected car’ systems, environmental and urban mobility.

GM Canada manages approximately C$190m (US$158m) research and development work per year with a wide range of leading Canadian suppliers and universities.

Work at the centre in Oshawa and its cold-weather testing facility in Kapuskasing, Ontario is helping to make the automobile more connected and environmentally sustainable. These activities include the development of new software and active controls that allow customers to take advantage of high-speed data links between automobiles and mobile networks.

Innovation at the Canadian centre also focuses on the use of alternative fuels, light weight and advanced materials which help improve fuel economy and offer customers new and more sustainable technology solutions.

Carlisle said, “We have long been proud of GM Canada’s unique capability in Canada to design and engineer future products for our customers and our solid portfolio of patents and project breakthroughs. 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 organisations. Canada has the bench strength and, to borrow a famous hockey analogy, this is where the puck is going.”