Waymo Picks Detroit Facility To Build Its Autonomous Cars From Mid-2019

Waymo has announced that they picked a factory in Detroit to start the mass production of autonomous cars.

The new plant will be the first one in the world to be fully dedicated in churning out Level 4 autonomous vehicles. Waymo said that it has been scouting for a location in southeast Michigan that will allow them to start production by mid-2019.

Waymo’s chief executive John Krafcik said in a blog post that they are teaming up with American Axle & Manufacturing to repurpose an existing facility. Google’s self-driving unit, which is considered to be ahead of its rivals in the race for autonomous driving, has already launched a robotaxi service in Arizona, with plans to expand it in the next few months.

“Today’s announcement by Waymo shows that the City of Detroit remains at the center of the future of the auto industry,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Waymo could have located the world’s first 100% dedicated Level 4 autonomous vehicle factory anywhere. We deeply appreciate the confidence John Krafcik and the Waymo team are showing in the Motor City.”

“Additionally, thanks to our wonderful neighbors at American Axle & Manufacturing and Bedrock for helping Waymo find the perfect home in Motor City,” said John Krafcik. “We’re thrilled to join Detroit’s vibrant community, helping to play a role in the future of the automotive industry in the city that started it all.”

Waymo is currently using a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans retrofitted with special gear, but has also partnered with Jaguar and plans to produce up to 20,000 vehicles by 2022.

 

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