Ford has announced that they are spending $500 million on research and development in Canada. The money will go toward expanding their connectivity team, establishing a new research center in Ottawa, and to furthering current research and development work in powertrains and alternative fuels. The commitment will double the size of their current connectivity team and see approximately 300 Canadian jobs created.
The announcement comes just a few months after Ford announced a $700 million investment in their Windsor and Oakville plants. Today’s announcement will help establish a new research and engineering centre in Ottawa that will work on telematics software – things like infotainment integration and driver assist features – and connected vehicle services. Ottawa is turning into somewhat of a hub for vehicle communications and software companies, with Ottawa-based Blackberry QNX announcing last December that they are opening an autonomous vehicle test site in the area.
Ford is doubling their connectivity team across North America, adding around 400 engineers. Ford says that around 300 of those will be based in Canada. Some of those will be at the new Ottawa site, but others will be at Ford’s Waterloo and Oakville, ON sites.
Some of the funds are going to existing research at sites in Windsor and Oakville. At those sites, Ford is working on advanced powertrains and advanced fuels, including the company’s fumes-to-fuel development centre, which is working on research focused on turning industrial emissions into a usable fuel source.
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