GM's Canada labs to develop self-driving car technology

General Motors announced plans Friday to hire 1,000 engineers and software developers at its Canadian research facilities near Toronto over the coming years to design new self-driving cars.

"With this expansion, GM Canada will play an important role in our evolution toward vehicles that are connected, autonomous, shared and electric," Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president of global product development, said in a statement.

In addition to autonomous vehicle software and controls, the teams will also work on new safety, "infotainment" and wireless connection technologies.

The positions will be based at existing research facilities in Oshawa on the shore of Lake Ontario and a new automotive lab to be opened soon in nearby Markham.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who lobbied GM chief executive Mary Barra at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, was on hand for the announcement, saying GM's investment "will create good paying jobs."

GM has made sizeable investments in future technologies, including the billion-dollar acquisition of Cruise, a San Francisco start-up focused on the development of the .

The United States is currently mulling regulations for self-driving cars, which are also being developed by tech giants Apple and Google.

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© 2016 AFP

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