The technology giant Google Inc. has placed the fate of its first self-driving vehicle in the hands of Roush Industries Inc. and several other Detroit suppliers for a definite Made in USA mark.
Roush, an engineering and specialty manufacturing firm that has come to wide praise for its custom Ford Mustang cars, has been tasked to build and assemble the 100 Google prototypes that form its 2015 test fleet. Additionally, the US units of Continental Automotive Systems and Robert Bosch LLC would be used as suppliers for the test vehicles – the duo are German companies but they have their North American automotive headquarters in suburban Detroit. According to Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving cars project, who was present during last week’s Automotive News World Congress in Detroit that the Internet tech giant did not use a specific automaker for the program. He added that as it seeks automotive partnerships with the global automakers, one of them (he didn’t specify if he referred to the Detroit three) would be for sure involved in the series production of the pod-like two-seater electric cars.
Maureen Crowley, director of corporate communications for Roush said that the company “built out a whole area specifically for this program,” seeing it as a major opportunity to expand the firm’s assembly capabilities. Other details have not perspired, because – as usual – Google is keeping the autonomous car project close to its heart with numerous non-disclosure agreements. Bosch and Continental, deeply involved in autonomous projects will be used to supply the electric powertrain system, including electric motor and power electronics (the former), as well as brakes, tires, body controllers and interior electronics (the latter).
Via Automotive News Europe