GM Canada sponsors its first hackathon

The automaker partners with Ryerson's DMZ to explore the broader applications of AI in the category.

General Motors Canada has partnered with Ryerson’s DMZ and Ryerson Futures to run a hackathon, a first for the automaker in this country.

Taking place this weekend, “HackAI” is inviting teams of  two to four people to solve how artificial intelligence assistants “might change the way we work, move and play in an autonomous age.” Judged by a panel of industry experts, the winning team will receive a $3,000 prize.

“The future is going to be AI driven and it will impact all of our lives,” said Ted Graham, head of open innovation at GM Canada, in a press release. “Events like HackAI are the perfect platform to engage with an ecosystem of current and future entrepreneurs and foster out-of-the-box ideas.”

Graham added that the company would be looking to connect with “future talent,” as the automaker currently has a mandate to grow its team of engineers and developers working on areas related to autonomous vehicles, active safety, infotainment and connected vehicle technology to 1,000.

Much of the attention being given to AI as it relates to automotive is in the areas of autonomous and driverless vehicles, but it could be equally applicable to connected car and infotainment platforms, which GM appears to be exploring with this hackathon. That idea was echoed by Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ.

“AI is creating a level of connectivity in the automotive industry that promises to bring major benefits to manufacturers and consumers alike,” he said. “While AI automotive applications that involve driverless cars receive the most attention, our HackAI event will enable participants to explore and test what other innovations can drive this evolving market.”