Google has just announced it will open a Detroit office. The company has decided to lay down its self-driving car roots at the outskirts of Detroit. The tech company’s self-driving car project is ready to compete with big players and their traditional vehicles. The new garage will be set to open not far from the auto-industry hub.
The Silicon Valley Company’s new 53,000 square foot center is in Novi, Michigan. The small city’s efforts to put weight on car connectivity technology has apparently paid off. The self-driving car developer team is already working with a few companies located in the area, making the Novi facility an obvious choice.
The new shop is a lot smaller than what the 400,000 square feet the Mountain View Company is looking to buy in the San Francisco area, but for the priority of the team, the Detroit office space is enough. In the Google+ announcement the company said they want to use the Novi space as a base for the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica new hybrid minivans.
This news comes just weeks after Google has announced its partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). The collaboration was made so that Google’s self-driving technology would be implemented into one hundred custom made Chrysler Pacifica hybrids.
This project gives Google the opportunity to test its technology on larger vehicles. Up until now, the company has been using those pod-like vehicles and the Audi TT, Lexus RX450h and Toyota Prius cars.
Google stated that the goal of these collaborations was to “improve road safety and make transportation more accessible for millions of people,” thus “realizing the potential of self-driving technology.”
These strategic moves in the self-driving car industry come at a time when there is a lot of activity in the sector. Many alliances have been formed between traditional car companies and tech firms, including ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber. The idea is to become a more aggressive competitor in the areas of electric and self-driving cars.
Google’s new Detroit office news could actually be topped by the rumors revolving around Apple. Reports say Apple is working on its own self-driving technology. The buzz came after the announcement of the $1 billion investment Apple made in the Chinese ride-hailing Didi Chuxing Company.
Image source: Gizmodo