Vehicle technology company Valeo is to create 50 new jobs at its facility in Tuam, Co Galway, as part of an expansion of its Research and Development centre there. 

The company already employs in excess of 1,000 people in the town. 

Valeo has  announced a €44m investment, which will lead to the new positions being filled over the next three years.  

The firm said much of the focus of its R&D will be on Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology. 

The expansion will bring to more than 500 the number employed in R&D roles at the Tuam plant. 

Much of the work being carried out there is leading to advances in driverless technology. 

As well as serving as a centre for future product development, the north Galway facility produces a number of components for other Valeo plants in Europe, America and Asia. 

The project is supported by IDA Ireland.

IDA Ireland's CEO Martin Shanahan said the new investment was an exciting project, focused on new emerging and disruptive advances in Autonomous Vehicles. 

"As a technology leader in autonomous technologies, with a global remit, Valeo is helping in the development of a cluster in Ireland around AV. This project will add significant value to the company's operations in Tuam and will benefit Tuam, Galway and the West region substantially," he added.

The Minister of State for Rural Affairs & Natural Resources Sean Canney said the investment shows that global companies like Valeo can find, in regional locations, the skilled workers they require, the necessary infrastructure and services and pro-business environment, to establish and grow their operations.

The company had 186 plants, 21 research centres, 38 development centres and 15 distribution platforms around the world with a workforce of 113,600 people in 33 countries.