Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Waymo will build self-driving cars in Michigan

It received approval for the first all-autonomous factory in the world.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 22, 2019
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Waymo

Waymo just took another major step toward bringing self-driving cars into the mainstream. The Alphabet-owned brand has received approval to establish a factory for its driverless vehicles in Michigan. This will be the first factory in the world to be completely devoted to mass-producing Level 4 autonomous vehicles, the company said.

It may be a while before the first vehicles roll off the line. Waymo first plans to "identify a facility" somewhere in southeastern Michigan, and it's not clear when that factory might be ready. The company hopes to create "hundreds" of local jobs over the space of a few years.

The state is an obvious choice for manufacturing self-driving cars. On top of its close association with the car industry and the sheer number of qualified workers, it's a good testing environment. This gives Waymo a better opportunity to prove that its cars can handle snow and other less-than-forgiving weather conditions. Many self-driving projects in the US, including Waymo's own work in Arizona, tend to favor southern states where conditions are favorable year-round.

It's not certain just what mix of vehicles Waymo will produce. However, it suggests the planned factory is mainly meant for integrating autonomy into existing vehicles, as it does with Fiat Chrysler and Jaguar. You might not see it produce driverless cars made completely from scratch as a result. It's nonetheless a start, and it's no secret that many established brands see autonomous car production as the future.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

RISC-V is trying to launch an open-hardware revolution

RISC-V is trying to launch an open-hardware revolution

View
Under Armour is selling MyFitnessPal for $345 million

Under Armour is selling MyFitnessPal for $345 million

View
Ford reveals how much its Active Driver Assist option will cost

Ford reveals how much its Active Driver Assist option will cost

View
Jabra Elite 85t review: Noise-blocking comfort that rivals the best

Jabra Elite 85t review: Noise-blocking comfort that rivals the best

View
'Spider-Man: Miles Morales' new suit moves like 'Into the Spider-Verse'

'Spider-Man: Miles Morales' new suit moves like 'Into the Spider-Verse'

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr