Ford has plans to move into a portion of new five-story, 100,000 sq. ft. office building in Kanata, Ontario, not far from Canada’s nation’s capital of Ottawa.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Ford is set to occupy a 40,000 sq. ft. office space in a building on Kanata’s Palladium Dr. The automaker could move into the facility by as early as 2020, however Ford declined to comment on the alleged move to the Ottawa Citizen. The newspaper claims to have heard of the planned move from the building’s developer.
Ford’s interest in the Ottawa region is nothing new. The automaker has been working hand in hand with Kanata-based Blackberry subsidiary QNX on software for in-car infotainment displays and on autonomous driving. The two companies announced an expansion of their partnership back in December of 2016, with Blackberry-QNX saying the move was representative of its “pivot from hardware to software,” and “extends its position in the automotive sector where security and mobility are critical for the connected car.”
“Ford is an industry leader and the opportunity to contribute our world-class technology to their products is a privilege,” said Blackberry chairman John Chen in 2016. “Ford’s expanded application of our software and services illustrates the diverse and broad value we can bring to market.”
QNX software powers the Ford Sync3 infotainment system, which replaced the old Microsoft-powered MyFordTouch system. Sync3 can be found in almost all new Ford products, including the 2019 Ford Ranger.
In 2017, Ford announced it would also make a $500 million investment in the region, hiring 300 new engineers with a focus on in-car software, connected cars and other forward-looking technologies. Ford is investing $1 billion total in Canadian facilities, receiving a tax break to the tune of $102M.4 CAD in exchange.
“Connectivity is the critical component of the future of mobility,” former Ford technical officer Raj Nair said at the time. “By more than doubling our connectivity talent and establishing a research centre, we can innovate faster and deliver more software and services to exceed our customer’s expectations.”
(source: Ottawa Citizen)