On October 26, GM Canada held a “Collision Day” at 2908@Communitech in Waterloo, Ont.
The objective was not to test the crash worthiness of its products but to enable Canadian startups and SMEs to explore potential growth opportunities with GM as it takes on an automotive future it sees as increasingly electric, connected, autonomous and an important part of the sharing economy.
In February, General Motors Canada joined the Communitech ecosystem with the opening of its “2908 Innovation Lab.” In June, the Company announced a major new software engineering mandate and hiring plan for Canada. Today’s event builds on that progress by linking GM decision makers with Canadian startups and SMEs—potential new partners with capabilities relevant to GM’s future vision. The goal for this collision day was to explore mobility solutions for urban centres in cold climates (i.e. Toronto, Chicago, New York City) with a focus on:
- Autonomous driving technology—sensing, perception, mapping, and diagnostics.
- Car sharing—business models, design concepts, and connectivity enablement.
- Multi-modal alternative transportation methods.
GM Canada President and Managing Director Steve Carlisle said, “At GM Canada we see an important opportunity to expand our Canadian ecosystem and R&D relationships in an exciting time of disruption and transformation for our industry. Innovation is today’s critical economic driver and this event with Communitech explores how a range of very capable Canadian startups may fit well with GM’s partnering and investment interests.”
The Honourable Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth said, “innovation from companies large and small is essential to help drive Ontario’s economy into the future. That’s why it’s great to see a large company like GM working with Ontario start-ups to develop new ideas that that will keep our auto sector at the forefront of technological disruption and change.”