The internet giant plans to open a research center for autonomous technologies near Detroit, so that it can be right in the heart of the US auto industry.
The time has come for Google to come closer to the automotive industry, especially considering the recent tie-up. The Mountain View-based company said that “it’s time to lay down roots” and open a self-driving technology development center in Novi, Michigan. “Many of our current partners are based here, so having a local facility will help us collaborate more easily and access Michigan’s top talent in vehicle development and engineering. At this 53,000 sq ft development center, our engineers, working with local partners, will further develop and refine self-driving technology. One of the first tasks will be to ready our self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans,” Google wrote in a blog post.
At the beginning of this month, Google and Fiat Chrysler made an agreement for the tech giant’s autonomous technologies to be integrated into the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, a deal which marked the first time that Google linked directly with an automaker to fit its systems. But this pact confines to building only 100 autonomous minivans, as Google is eager to share its know-how with many other traditional carmakers and it does not intend to stick with only one partner.
“We’re still talking to a lot of different automakers,” Google self-driving car Chief Executive John Krafcik recently said. “We’ve been very open about what the technology is and the problem we want to solve together. Solving this problem is going to require a lot of partnership.”