© Waymo Electronics Production | January 24, 2019
Michigan Paves Way for Waymo to Grow Self-Driving Technology
Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) voted to approve Waymo’s request for a manufacturing presence in Southeast Michigan, a move that is expected to create hundreds of jobs.
According to a Waymo blog published on Medium.com this week, once a site is chosen for the new facility, over the next few years, Waymo will hire engineers, operations experts, and fleet coordinators, amounting to “hundreds of local jobs,” to help assemble and deploy the self-driving cars. The blog post also cites the new Waymo facility as the “world’s first factory 100% dedicated to the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles.” MEDC said in a statement, “The project is expected to generate total private investment of USD 13.6 million and create 100 jobs with the potential for up to 400 jobs, resulting in a Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant of up to USD 8 million. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in a number of other states.” Within the five levels of autonomous driving technology, Cnet.com cites a Level 4 automobile as “capable of completing an entire journey without driver intervention, even operating without a driver at all, but the vehicle does have some constraints (i.e., geofenced), or it could be prohibited from operating beyond a certain speed.” Currently, no Level 4 autonomous vehicles are available to the consumer for purchase. Waymo self-driving technology is integrated into vehicles purchased specifically for the Waymo fleet of “robotaxis,” including the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan and Jaguar Land Rover.