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Ford investing in Canadian research and development

Ford investing in Canadian research and development

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Ford have announced a $375 million investment for research and development in Canada. That is on top of significant investment already earmarked by the automaker for Canada. It’s great news for the long term prosperity of the country.

The investment is said to be earmarked for research and development into connectivity. That means the software and hardware necessary for connected vehicles, which are one vision of the automotive future. As part of this investment, Ford will hire over 300 new employees in Canada and build a new R&D facility in Ottawa.

The new facility will develop the future infotainment, driver assistance, vehicle autonomy and connected technologies. As these are all regarded as the future of vehicles, the facility has a long and illustrious future ahead of it. Another facility will also be created at Oakville, Ontario supplement the one in Ottawa.

Whether this has anything to do with the news that Ford has hired 400 BlackBerry employees in one hit or not has yet to be determined. Either way, 300 extra jobs and more security for existing ones is good news for everyone.

Connected cars
Connected cars are part of the fast emerging Internet of Things. Where formerly inanimate objects become smart and connect to the internet to perform tasks or offer extra functionality. So what are connected cars and what will they bring?

A connected car is simply a car that connects to the internet by itself. That is, without using a smartphone like they do now. We see some elements of connected vehicles already with telematics, 911 alerting systems and cars that use a smartphone app to provide information on fuel, range, condition, charge and other useful information.

This is all set to expand immensely over the next decade. While 4G is enough to power many of these elements, the introduction of 5G over the next few years will see speed and connectivity grow exponentially.

The features in connected cars can be as simple as streaming music or as advanced as integration into autonomous vehicles so cars all know where each other are and where they are going to avoid collisions.

OTA (Over The Air) is another potential of connected cars. Rather than performing software updates at every service, automakers will be able to download them over the cell connection directly to your car. Once security and reliability of such updates can be assured, this is the future of keeping a car up to date.

The future looks good for connected cars and it looks like Canada will be playing a large part in that. Good news all round I think!

Categories: News