Today the CEO of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project John Krafcik announced via a Google+ post that the search giant would be establishing a self-driving technology department center on the outskirts of Detroit. Google has had team members working in the Greater Detroit area for years, but Krafcik says now it’s time to “lay down roots.”
“Many of our current partners are based here,” said Krafcik, “so having a local facility will help us collaborate more easily and access Michigan’s top talent in vehicle development and engineering. At this 53,000-square-foot development center, our engineers, working with local partners, will further develop and refine self-driving technology. One of the first tasks will be to ready our self-driving Pacifica hybrid minivans.”
The base of operations will be located in Novi, MI, which is a northwestern suburb of Detroit. As you can tell from the picture of the interior of the building that Krafcik shared on social media, there’s quite a lot of work to do before this place gets into full swing. The team is expected to gradually move into the facility over the course of the rest of this year.
Google certainly is throwing a lot into the Self-Driving Car Project. A couple of weeks ago, the company announced that they were willing to pay passengers $20 an hour to spend the next year or two cruising around in an autonomous vehicle full time. Last month, the company created a powerful lobbying dream team with Ford, Uber, and other major players to fight against legislation that would inhibit adoption of autonomous vehicles.
Will our children really grow up in a world where a driver’s license is a thing of the past? Is this for better or for worse? Let us know your opinion regarding the future of our highways in the comments below!