HIGH skilled jobs are being created in York with the £1.6m expansion of a centre supporting the development of smart transport technology.

The Department for International Trade has announced that ETAS, a global solutions provider for the automotive industry, will be expanding in York.

The move will create 11 new high-skilled jobs in the self-drive vehicle industry, with future potential to increase this to more than 40 positions.

In September 2019, ETAS Ltd, a Bosch subsidiary, agreed a 15-year lease on one of York's largest available office buildings, Alexander House, in Hospital Fields Road, with office accommodation over three floors. 

York Press:

Alexander House

The newly-expanded centre will develop the middleware to support future generations of advanced autonomous and highly automated driving.

The expansion is a strong sign of confidence in York as a place to do business, with the city’s high calibre workforce, technology and innovation strengths, and quality of life acting as key advantages for businesses located in the city.

There is the possibility that the expansion could grow into a global centre for the development of software for connected and autonomous vehicles.

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning said: “We welcome this substantial expansion and investment from Bosch in York.

"This offers a great boost to our local job market, bringing a new degree of expertise to the city and giving residents to opportunity to upskill and explore new career paths.

“The expansion compliments our established network of thriving science and technology businesses across the city and marks another milestone in York’s journey of greener, cleaner innovation.”

Software has traditionally been a small fraction of the value of a car, but high-end cars will soon contain 100 million lines of software code in each vehicle, so automotive operating systems will become an industry in its own right.

The current York location has been part of ETAS Ltd since 2003 and is responsible for the development of real-time operating systems and basic software for the automotive industry.

To date, more than one billion copies of the ETAS York operating system have been deployed and are driving on the roads globally.

ETAS Ltd has doubled in size over the last five years and this announcement will help to further strengthen the automotive industry in the region.

Christine Hogan, senior inward investment executive at Make It York said: "We are delighted that Bosch have chosen York as the location for their UK expansion, investing significantly in developing the site and bringing new jobs to the city.

"It is testament to how well-placed York is as a location for business expansion of this nature: combining a strong knowledge-driven economy, world-class sector expertise, excellent connectivity, high talent retention and an unrivalled quality of life.

"York has its own unique identity as a world-class business location and it is wonderful to see a global company such as Bosch choosing to make York its home."

City of York Council has been driving ahead with its smart transport initiatives since 2018 with the Eboracum Research Project.

Traffic signal plans are automatically updated using live on-board vehicle journey times.

The work continues with the Smart Transport Evolution Programme which began in September 2019 and uses live data feeds to forecast five to 60 minutes ahead and produce alerts for traffic control operatives or drivers.

The programme will shortly be delivering Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory, a service that sends real-time and future traffic signals conditions to smart phones and cars and advice about the most efficient speed to travel safely to get through on green. All this has been made possible by upgrades to the city’s smart infrastructure.

David Dickson, deputy chair of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership's board, said the expansion of ETAS was a significant boost for York and the region.

"It demonstrates the draw of the area as an excellent place to live and work and will lead to further economic growth.

“As a LEP, we work with stakeholders, investors and the Department for International Trade to ensure York and North Yorkshire is promoted as a place to do business.

"We are formalising an internationalisation strategy and inward investment strategy to continue to progress this, and we’re working with companies in the UK and abroad to foster investment and encourage growth.”