Spotlight: GM's autonomous cars being developed in Ontario, not Silicon Valley

October 29, 2015 –

Automated car dashboard
Source: Invest in Ontario

As automotive technology evolves toward autonomous cars, a need arises for skilled software engineers to fill a growing gap in talent. For many, Silicon Valley might seem like the obvious place to turn, but that is not what the GM Global Product Chief, Mark Reuss told Wall Street analysts at the automaker’s global business conference. Reuss informed the world with confidence that the company is relying on their partnership with the University of Waterloo, a school with a world-renowned software engineering program and located near GM’s Canadian engineering hub, roughly 3,000 miles from the valley.

Developing autonomous vehicle technology in Silicon Valley would present logistical problems

Collaborating to access autonomous vehicle technology is a more efficient model than stationing engineers in California, a GM spokesperson told Auto News. Whether in Michigan or in Germany, it is difficult to integrate work being done in California to a company’s engineering hub, they added. That’s why GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, is in no hurry to expand her presence there. Instead, the company is choosing to build upon their long-established research partnership with the University of Waterloo.



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