Carleton partners with ICTC for autonomous vehicles co-op placements

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Carleton University is partnering with a national technology council to ensure the coming generation’s skills will meet the rising demand for autonomous vehicles jobs in Canada.

The Ottawa post-secondary institution announced a partnership this week with the Information and Communications Technology Council to place Carleton co-op students at AV companies across Canada.

The initiative is tied to an ICTC report released last year that projected Canada would need to fill 34,000 jobs related to the emerging AV industry by 2021. The report cites figures from the Boston Consulting Group that peg the global value of the sector at $77 billion by 2035, and notes that Canada is primed to carve out its share of the emerging AV economy.

Though traditional STEM-based skills will certainly be in demand, the ICTC report notes that autonomous vehicle development will require graduates entering the industry to understand new areas such as wireless communications, machine learning and cybersecurity.

Beyond the car itself, the infrastructure needed to support self-driving cars will also give rise to urban planning jobs that don’t yet exist. “Smart city planners,” for example, will need training to design municipalities that can enable AV to take root.

“The technological development of autonomous vehicles and the growth of smart cities are inherently linked,” the report states.

“Focusing on the convergence between technology, sustainability and quality of life, smart cities will undoubtedly bring changes to our labour market and in many ways they will accelerate the need for skilled talent.”

Carleton and the ICTC note in a release that their partnership is aimed at ensuring that “Ottawa cultivates this future workforce and becomes Canada’s AV capital.”

This isn't the first time Carleton has put its stake in AV research and education. The university recently partnered with BlackBerry QNX and Transport Canada to devise ways of thwarting cyber attacks on connected cars.