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Uber plans Detroit facility so it can collaborate with automakers

Easier access to Ford Fusions for its self-driving fleet.

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Following last week's self-driving car news, Uber is preparing to open a new facility in Detroit. The ride-sharing company revealed a fleet of autonomous Ford Fusions a few days ago that are already taking passengers around Pittsburgh. Today, vice president of global vehicle programs Sherif Marakby said that the new outpost will be used to strengthen its collaboration with automakers that are headquartered in Michigan.

Ford Motor Company's HQ is located in nearby Dearborn and Uber chose the automaker's 4-door sedans for its self-driving pilot. Marakby went on to explain that Uber doesn't have any interest in building its own hardware or vehicles, but it wants to work with companies on its plans for the future of the service. As we saw last week, that future definitely includes self-driving cars. The same can be said for Ford as it offered a glimpse at its self-driving plans just a few days ago. Those plans include fully self-driving cars without steering wheels or pedals by 2021.

Ford isn't the only US automaker in Detroit working on autonomous vehicles. General Motors is testing self-driving Chevrolet Bolts and plans to start trials with Uber's ride-sharing rival Lyft in the near future. Over the weekend, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer said self-driving cars will provide the bulk of its service within five years and all of its rides within the next decade.

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