On Tuesday, the 23rd of April 2019, the Alphabet Inc.’s ambitious self-driving venture, Waymo, said that they had picked up a factory in Detroit for mass-scale production of commercial self-driving vehicles, as a histrionic move to look on to the historical heart of US auto industry, Detroit, in order to build vehicles for the future.
At a blog post, the Waymo’s Chief Executive, John Krafcik had been quoted saying on Tuesday (April 23rd) that the self-driving unit of Alphabet Inc. would be partnering up with the American Axle & Manufacturing, a Detroit-based manufacturer of automobile driveline and drivetrain components alongside systems, for leasing and revamping operation at an existing facility, which would likely to be operational by July 2019.
Nevertheless, in last January, Waymo said that they had chosen the Michigan plant as their first production facility and would be creating as many as 400 job opportunities, as it would receive tax incentives from a public-private partnership agency, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
At a whirlpool of rivals in the autonomous driving industry including General Motors, Uber Technologies and Tesla Inc., the Waymo has still been considered to be quite a few steps ahead in the self-driving race, given its already operational robotaxi services in Arizona, which the company had planned to expand geographically over next three to five years.
However, Waymo’s closest rival, Tesla Inc. head Elon Musk had announced earlier this year that the e-vehicle producer would launch a robotaxi service by 2020.