You’ve probably heard of Google’s self-driving car initiative, but did you know that they are taking the developing technology right back to the heartland of the auto industry?
That’s right: John Krafcik, the CEO of Google’s self-driving car project, announced late last month that they planned on opening a 53,000 square-foot development center in the Detroit suburb of Novi.
Apparently, the new Novi facility will serve as a hub that Google will be able to use to collaborate with a number of partners in the auto industry.
Last month, Google announced its partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, in an effort to transform 100 2017 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans into self-driving vehicles.
“For the past few years, members of our team have been working from the Greater Detroit area. Now it’s time to lay down roots: we’re establishing a self-driving technology development center in Novi,” Krafcik said.
Krafcik also commented that many of the company’s current partners are already based in Detroit, so a local facility will aid collaboration and and access to Michigan’s top auto talents. With the auto industry’s best engineers on the job, it’s easy to imagine the perks these new vehicles will have
The average car on the road is 11.4 years old, but when Google’s self driving hits the market, there is no telling how fast they’ll transform the driving landscape.
Google has been working on self-driving car technology for more than six years, and while Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has offices in Ann Arbor and Birmingham, the new office in Novi will be the first in Michigan for the development of autonomous vehicles.