Ford to hire 400 connectivity engineers

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Ford to hire 400 connectivity engineers

Doubles existing team.

Ford is hiring 400 engineers to work on connectivity software and hardware as part of a wider push to meet demand for more connected cars.

The 300 engineers in Canada and 100 in the United States will double the current size of the automaker's mobile connectivity engineering team. The company said it also plans to establish a new research and engineering centre in Ottawa, Canada.

Connectivity is a key investment area for the auto industry as in-car technology catches up to that of smartphones. As more modems are built directly into cars, vehicles are able to access a richer array of digital services.

Ford plans to equip 20 million cars with built-in modems in the next five years.

The new hires, many of whom are coming from BlackBerry's shuttered handset business, will work on infotainment, in-vehicle modems, gateway modules, handset integration, security, driver assist features and autonomous vehicles, Ford said.

The move by the Detroit carmaker underscores how many new jobs in the auto sector are for white-collar technology jobs related to connectivity, mobility or autonomous vehicles, versus traditional factory jobs.

Ford earlier this week said it was investing US$200 million for data centre in Michigan to support advances in vehicle connectivity and future developments in autonomous vehicles.

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