Google's Waymo To Build Autonomous Vehicles In Detroit

Dave Royse

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Waymo said Tuesday it's found a "perfect facility" in Detroit to build autonomous cars, offering further details on a promise to return auto jobs to the car industry's longtime hometown.

What To Know

Waymo said back in January it was looking for a Southeast Michigan facility that it would make the first in the world dedicated to the mass production of completely autonomous vehicles.

On Tuesday, CEO John Krafcik said in a blog post that rather than build or buy its own facility, Waymo will "repurpose" an existing plant on the campus of American Axle and Manufacturing. Krafcik said Waymo had been looking for something it could get up and running by mid-2019, and the axle facility is the perfect place.

"We will partner with American Axle & Manufacturing to repurpose an existing facility, bringing a workforce back to an area where jobs in the automotive industry were recently lost," Krafcik wrote.

Financial details of the arrangement weren't disclosed.

Why It's Important

“By choosing to establish its new facility in Detroit, Waymo is continuing the city’s momentum and further cementing Michigan as a leader in mobility and the epicenter of advanced automotive manufacturing,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.

The Detroit Free Press reported the Michigan Economic Development Corp. has said the project will create at least 100 jobs with the potential for 400, and that Waymo will invest $13.6 million in the project. The business development corporation earlier approved an $8 million grant for the project.

Waymo's self-driving systems will be used in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) Pacifica minivans and, eventually, Jaguar i-Pace electric vehicles, according to Waymo.

Related Links:

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Photo courtesy of Waymo.

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