London: The Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is mulling a new software hub at Shannon in Ireland as part of its wider plans to invest in electric and driver-less technology.
According to ‘The Sunday Times’, the UK-based luxury car maker plans to create 150 jobs at the site, where it will research new technologies related to battery-powered cars and automated driving.
“The new facility provides an exciting opportunity for us to pioneer future autonomous and electrification technologies," said Nick Rogers, JLR’s executive director of product engineering.
The Irish town of Shannon is seen as a hi-tech hotbed, with companies including American chip giant Intel setting up base there. JLR said its new site would “complement" more than 10,000 engineers in the UK, in a move backed by Ireland’s Investment Development Agency (IDA).
“Having a globally recognised company of such international standing will greatly enhance Shannon’s reputation as a centre of excellence for such business. The 150 jobs will be of significant benefit to Clare and the midwest region," said Martin Shanahan of IDA Ireland.
The latest expansion plans come after another record year for the Tata Motors’ owned company, which sold 621,109 cars in 2017, up 1% on 2016.
Last year, the company had announced that from 2020, all new models under the Jaguar and Land Rover brands will be offered with electric versions and the firm has committed to a range of hybrid, plug-in and full electric power options in the coming years.
The firm’s first fully electric SUV, the Jaguar I-Pace, goes on sale later this year. For its new research and development (R&D) hub in Ireland, it will look for software engineers with experience in a range of disciplines such as artificial intelligence, safety critical systems and vehicle architecture.