Waymo will lease space from American Axle’s Advanced Technology Development Center near a block away from its Detroit world headquarters. AAM calls the center a facility “dedicated to the acceleration of innovation, collaboration, and the development of advanced products, processes, and systems.”
Traditionally used to test processes, equipment and components during early stage product development, the center will serve as Waymo’s hub to upfit Chrysler Pacifica minivans and Jaguar I-Pace electric crossovers with gear needed to reach SAE Level 4 autonomous driving – Autonomous systems can drive the vehicle and monitor road conditions; the human driver does not need to take control, but the system can only operate in specific conditions and environments.
The AAM facility puts Waymo directly across the Detroit River from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)’s Windsor, Canada, plant that makes the Pacifica.
“By choosing to establish its new facility in Detroit, Waymo is continuing the city’s momentum and further cementing Michigan as a leader in mobility and the epicenter of advanced automotive manufacturing,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.