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Car and Driver: Google Moves In on Detroit with New Self-Driving Tech Center in Michigan

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Google Novi Michigan


We already know that Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are in bed together, and now the California-based tech giant is setting up shop in the (relative) shadow of Chrysler’s Michigan HQ. Google has announced that it’s opening a self-driving technology development center in Novi, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit that’s just about 25 miles away from FCA’s own technical center in Auburn Hills.


Google shared a photo of the nearly empty 53,000-square-foot facility and says that move-in will be happening throughout this year. First on the agenda is to develop the fleet of 100 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans that was announced along with the Google-FCA partnership. FCA will supply the vehicles themselves, at which point Google will install its autonomous-driving technology in order to test these prototypes in the real world.


Opening up a tech center in Michigan also allows Google to be closer to other suppliers and automakers in the area. Previous rumors suggested that Google was in talks to collaborate with Ford, and Google’s earlier pod-like autonomous test vehicles were built in Michigan by Detroit-based supplier Roush. Google is fairly secretive about any other automotive partners at this point, but our own Michigan-based staff will definitely keep our collective eye out for Google test vehicles that may be roaming the area.


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