After announcing the new Uber Express Pool in Canada, the company also announced it is opening a new engineering hub in Toronto.
At a press conference at the MaRS Discovery District, Uber’s Chief Executive Officer, Dara Khosrowshahi said they are opening the new hub in early 2019 and expanding their 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,” states an Uber press release. “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.”
Last May, Uber made its initial investment in Toronto’s tech sector when it opened its first international ATG self-driving centre, led by University of Toronto professor and machine learning expert Raquel Urtasun.
And now, Uber announced it is expanding this centre, and opening a completely new engineering office in Toronto in early 2019.
The new office will be focused on building, operating, and continuously updating the vast infrastructure and backend systems that power Uber’s products.
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 Khosrowshahi. “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.”
Toronto will be Uber’s eighth engineering hub outside the US, 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.”
During the press conference, Khosrowshahi mentioned that Uber just trying to be less of a sole rideshare provider, and to be an overall transport provider. He also added that Uber is looking at data to introduce Uber ebikes and scooters, although no further information or timelines were given.