Google plans to open a self-driving car center in Michigan image

The internet giant plans to extend its autonomous related hubs, searching for a new site in Michigan, according to Automotive News sources.

Google recently listed 36 jobs related to the self-driving project, a move that highlights the internet giant plans to speed up its development program on autonomous technologies. And now, Google seems to be in hunt for a new site to expand its center. Sources told Crain’s Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, that the company is looking for at least 30,000 square feet of land in Michigan to open a research and development facility, and it already prospected some sites near Detroit, in Southfield, Troy and Farmington Hills. For the last six years, Google relied on tests made in Mountain View, California, to expand them to Austin, Texas, last summer. The latest move comes after Michigan’s authorities plan to transform the former General Motors Willow Run Powertrain plant into a national test site for autonomous cars. Google reportedly wants to expand its self-driving tests to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the new lab could definitely serve that purpose

Even if Google is eager to deploy as many self-driving cars on public roads as it can, it still has to prove to the US regulators that its smart vehicles are safe enough to drive themselves through traffic. In a response to a letter send be Google to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration towards clarifying safety standards, the Agency said that the self-driving software could be interpreted as a driver, but stopped short of agreeing to immediately suspend all safety rules needed to allow fully autonomous cars on the roads as sought in Google’s letter.

Via Automotive News / Reuters