General Motors will expand the size of its Canadian research-and-development division from 300 engineers to roughly 1,000 over the next few years, the automaker announced June 10 at an event near its Oshawa, Ontario headquarters.

The roughly 700 new hires will specifically be tasked with exploring self-driving car systems and other innovative new technologies, GM explained at the event, attended by Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“We selected Canada for this expansion because of its clear capacity for innovation, proven talent and strong ecosystem of great universities, startups and innovative suppliers,” GM Executive Vice-President Mark Reuss said in a press release.

Part of the expansion involves the company opening a new Automotive Software Development Center in Markham, GM said in the same release. The new hires will be mostly based in Markham and Oshawa, the location of GM’s Canadian headquarters and one of its assembly facilities.

General Motors build six different models in assembly plants across the southern part of the province, and also does cold weather testing in northern Ontario in Kapuskasing. That research facility will also see $10 million in future investments as part of the program.

(General Motors and Reuters with image from Huffington Post)