During her first visit to Toronto as CEO of Uber, Dara Khrosrowshahi announced on Thursday the establishment of the cluster and the expansion of her research center. He said it would help the technology giant in San Francisco build and update its infrastructure so that it could develop further and offer more services and products to customers, drivers and cities.
At Uber, we recognize Canada's commitment to innovation, as well as the vibrancy of the Toronto technology ecosystem. We want to support innovation from this large and diverse region.
Khrosrowshahi and the company said the engineering center – the eighth US company – would be ready by early 2019 and would provide Uber with the tools to deploy new products more efficiently around the world. "These new offers must include bicycle rental and electric scooters and partnerships with transit companies.
Uber has not yet provided details on the rental of electric bikes and scooters in Canada, but Express Pool, which allows Uber customers to share a trip and travel costs with other users. moving on similar routes, will soon be available in Canada, Khrosrowshahi said.
He also announced that Uber would invest more than $ 200 million over the next five years in expanding its Advanced Technologies Group research and development center in Toronto, which has focused on autonomous vehicles since its opening in May. 2017.
Uber's efforts in the field of autonomous vehicles have been marked by controversies since March. The company decided to stop testing in Toronto, San Francisco, Phoenix and Pittsburgh after a woman died after being hit by one of Uber's autonomous vehicles in Tempe, Arizona.
The company decided in May to close the Arizona center responsible for the fatal test, but said it doubled its efforts in Toronto.
Uber tested autonomous vehicles in Toronto months before the incident occurred, but these cars were not suitable for passengers.
The development of first-class automated driving technology takes time; safety is and remains the priority of the company at all times.
Uber noted that the Toronto city center "made significant technological progress" to improve the performance and capabilities of Uber's autonomous autonomous fleet.
When the expansion of the center and the construction of the engineering center are completed, Uber estimates that the city would have more than 500 employees.