TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Uber's Chief Executive Officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, is in Toronto today to announce that the Company is opening an engineering hub in early 2019 and expanding its Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) Research & Development Centre in Toronto, investing more than C$200 million over five years.
Canada is one of the most attractive places in the world to study and work in artificial intelligence and computer engineering. Specifically in the Toronto region, significant and smart investments from multiple levels of government, extraordinarily strong academic institutions, and innovative Canadian entrepreneurs have made this area an incredibly vibrant tech ecosystem.
Recognizing its strengths, Uber made its initial investment in Toronto's tech sector in May 2017 when it opened its first international ATG self-driving centre, led by University of Toronto professor and machine learning expert Raquel Urtasun. Uber also became a platinum sponsor for the Vector Institute, of which Prof. Urtasun is a co-founder.
Today, Uber is announcing that it is expanding its existing self-driving centre, and separately opening a completely new engineering office in Toronto in early 2019. The new engineering office will be focused on building, operating, and continuously updating the vast infrastructure and backend systems that power Uber's products.
With this, Uber will create hundreds of new tech and engineering jobs in Canada. When combined with its local ridesharing and food delivery businesses, Uber's overall headcount in Toronto will exceed 500 employees in the coming years.
"At Uber, we recognize Canada's commitment to innovation and the vibrancy of Toronto's tech ecosystem," said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's Chief Executive Officer. "We want to support the innovation coming out of this great, diverse region. That's why I'm so excited today to be here to announce our continued commitment to, and investment in, Canada's tech sector."
At Uber, we believe that technology has the power to make transportation more efficient, accessible, and safer than ever before. Self-driving technology has the potential to make these benefits an everyday reality for our customers. Building best-in-class self-driving technology will take time, and safety is our priority every step of the way.
In just 15 months, Uber ATG's self-driving R&D centre in Toronto has delivered significant technical breakthroughs towards making self driving at scale a safe and reliable reality for millions of people around the world. The research has already contributed towards advancing the performance and adding new capabilities to Uber's self-driving fleet.
Uber ATG's Toronto centre is Uber's first self-driving office outside the U.S. It has attracted substantial local and international talent thanks to the burgeoning and diverse AI ecosystem in Toronto.
"Working at Uber ATG has allowed me to elevate my academic research to the next level through real-world applications. Uber is at the forefront of self-driving technology, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to be part of building the future of transportation," stated Raquel Urtasun, Uber ATG's Chief Scientist and head of the ATG's Toronto centre. "I am proud to be part of Toronto's ongoing efforts to embrace diversity and technological innovation, and am thrilled that we are expanding ATG's efforts here to make self-driving technology a reality."
UBER ENGINEERING & INNOVATION
Our new Canadian engineering hub will join global efforts to ensure platform reliability and efficiency so that we can continue to scale and offer more functionality to riders, drivers, and cities. This is a key strategic area of focus for our engineering team -- with a more reliable and extensible mobile platform, we'll have the building blocks to more effectively deploy new products around the world. This means, for example, stronger and faster deployment for new features in the Uber app, like Express Pool, which we just launched in Toronto today, or Jump Bikes and e-scooters, or partnerships with public transit.
The engineering centre we are establishing will create hundreds of local jobs that will have global impact. As we launch our Canadian engineering centre, Uber is committed to support and help grow the Canadian tech ecosystem. We will offer opportunities for current Uber engineers to relocate from various Company sites to Toronto, and we expect dozens of our engineers will make this move -- many have already expressed an interest to live and work in Toronto, some are Canadian and others are from elsewhere in the world.
While Uber's U.S. engineering sites in the Bay Area and elsewhere continue to grow, we know that more and more talent can be found in tech hubs around the world. Toronto will be Uber's eighth engineering hub outside the U.S., joining a strong technical community across Europe, India, and Latin America.
"This expansion comes at an exciting time for engineers at Uber," said Thuan Pham, Uber's Chief Technology Officer. "We have a number of big bets on our roadmap that create unique challenges and opportunities for engineers interested in helping to build the future of their cities. There is still a lot to be written in the history of Uber engineering and we're excited for the local and international talent Toronto attracts to help us define the next chapter."
ABOUT UBER CANADA
Co-founded by Calgarian entrepreneur Garrett Camp in 2009, Uber is evolving the way the world moves. Present in communities across Canada, Uber has revolutionized transportation and offers Canadian driver-partners a new way to earn income in their spare time by offering an affordable transportation alternative to riders across the country. For more information, visit uber.com.
SOURCE Uber Canada Inc.
For further information: Xavier Van Chau, Public Affairs, Lead, Uber Canada, [email protected], 514-442-5544