GM Canada has just announced a $1 million investment in the University of Waterloo’s Engineering Faculty, which it will use to research advanced materials and develop software to connect automobiles to the Internet of Things.
The funding will support a research chair in light-weight materials and sponsor student design projects involving software development. GM Canada will also establish an innovation research outpost within Waterloo’s Communitech innovation research hub.
In a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto, GM Canada president and managing director, Steve Carlisle outlined the company’s vision for connected cars where sensors within the vehicle, the road and elsewhere in the environment are connected through high speed mobile networks. He said of the initiative:
“Automotive will be the key driver for the emerging Internet of things, which includes vehicle-to-vehicle connections, road-to-vehicle, huge arrays of sensors driving big data, and very connected drivers,” Carlisle said. “For new car buyers today, especially younger consumers, connectivity is now a top reason to buy a specific model.”
The connected car is one of the three elements GM Canada is focusing on to meet the future mobility needs of drivers which also include sustainability and creating vehicles for increasingly crowded cities.