Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Waymo’s Self-Driving Car Program Adds a Plant in Detroit, Michigan

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

An additional location has been chosen for Waymo’s self-driving car project, and the final assembly will be in Detroit. Once known as Google’s self-driving car project, now one of the foremost leaders in pushing to develop the autonomous vehicle, Waymo had previously said that it was scouting locations in southeast Michigan. But they didn’t name a specific city, until now.

Jon Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, revealed via a blog post that Detroit was the company’s choice. “Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve found the perfect facility in Detroit. We will partner with American Axle & Manufacturing to repurpose an existing facility, bringing a workforce back to an area where jobs in the automotive industry were recently lost,” according to the post.

The new building is set to create over 100 jobs and could expand to 400 jobs in the area with an investment of $13.6 million. Waymo has requested an $8 million grant from Michigan Business Development Program. They will use an existing facility on the American Axle and Manufacturing campus on Holbrooke where American Axle has its headquarters, Technology Development Center and the Detroit Business office.

The location in question was being used as a sequencing center for local parts supplier, and according to the company, American Axle recently moved back into the facility with business operations in the central portion of the building. The Vice President of American Axle, Chris Son, said the partnership would benefit the companies immensely. “We are excited to partner with Waymo and be a part of bringing future automotive technology to our Detroit Campus,” said Son to freep.com.

Waymo’s announcement comes after GM’s decision to pull back from the two factories that already are in the state. GM will stop manufacturing at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant early January 2020, which builds the electric Chevy Volt vehicle. But they are still planning on making the production versions of the self-driving Cruise car at the Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan.  

Although there has been no set date, there is speculation that General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, could be in play. If it goes through, it will offer more than 200,000 square feet that Waymo is looking for. But there is still competition between Waymo’s self-driving vehicle development and GM’s Cruise unit.

Waymo’s project is considered as the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles. According to NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), Level 5 is high automation, one step below full automation. Under certain conditions, the vehicle can manage all driving functions.  

The driver may have the option to have full control of the vehicle. General Motors has produced a Level 4 Chevy Bolts for test purposes at its Orion Assembly Plant. Although it’s been testing there hasn’t been a lot of news on it.

FCA PLANS:

This is the second announcement this year concerning auto manufacturing in the Detroit area. In February, Fiat Chrysler announced a $4.5 billion expansion in Wayne and Macomb counties. As of now, that amount has tripled. Included in the plan is the new Jeep plant at the company’s Mack Avenue Engine factory and the expansion of the Jefferson North Assembly Plant.    

As of now, that deal is still pending in the City of Detroit assembling 200 acres to complete FCA’s needed footprint. The deadline to complete is under the city’s agreement with FCA is this week. Earlier this month, the city was still negotiating the last piece of property needed by the Moroun family. The family owns 80-acre former Budd plant site near Charlevoix and Conner on the east side.

This isn’t the first lease that the Crown’s rent to Chrysler which is used as a parking lot for new vehicles produced at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant. Inside the assembly plant, in a separate shop, workers install self-driving hardware for autonomous vehicles that are being tested by GM Cruise, the automaker’s San Francisco-based autonomous-vehicle unit. Both GM and Ford Motor Co have announced that they will build autonomous vehicles in the Michigan factories.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: autoblog.com

FCA Invests $30 Million In Autonomous Driving Testing Facility

Friday, September 14th, 2018
lhs corrosions testings miami lakes automall
miami lakes automall fca cpg autonomous testing

Photo Credit/Copyright: connectedautomateddriving.eu

The autonomous world is getting some major upgrades, ya’ll! Thanks to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) investing $30 million in their autonomous vehicle testing facilities, the upgrades will assist the automaker to improve the testing and evaluation of self-driving vehicles at the Chelsea Proving Grounds located in Chelsea, Michigan. The all-new facility, which initiates programs this month, features a dedicated autonomous highway-speed track, 35-acre safety feature evaluation area, and a high-tech command center.

“The all-new facility at Chelsea Proving Grounds will help support and enable the successful rollout of the company’s five-year plan laid out earlier this year,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Chief Operating Officer, NAFTA region. “Our ability to test for autonomous and advanced safety technologies enables FCA to offer our customers the features they want across our brand portfolio.”

Beginning with the autonomous highway-speed track, which consists of tunnels, obstacles, on-and-off ramps, and different lighting conditions, it will be used for highway-speed testing exclusively for autonomous vehicle prototypes. Secondly, a 35-acre paved area for testing parking and emergency braking systems will also be designed. Lastly, a 6,500 square-foot command center will be created for external control and tracking of prototype autonomous vehicles using computer monitoring systems.

After opening up in 1954, the Chelsea Proving Grounds has undergone numerous expansions. Comprised of nearly 4,000 acres, 100 miles of road-surface, and off-road replicas of challenging trails, the Chelsea Proving Grounds is in operation seven days a week, 365 days a year. Within the facility, various levels of autonomy will be evaluated, as well as enabling the company to assess FCA vehicles by using test protocols from third parties such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP).

Additionally, the Chelsea Proving Grounds facility has depended on partnerships with Uber and Google subsidiary Waymo to develop the hardware and software that self-driving vehicles utilize. In May of 2018, FCA announced that it would deliver up to 62,000 additional Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids to Google’s automated driving technology company, while also making Waymo’s tech available in consumer vehicles via a licensing deal. Not only that, but Chrysler is also contributing an additional 20,000 compact cars from Jaguar Land Rover.

“Fiat Chrysler Automotives is committed to bringing self-driving technology to our customers in a manner that is safe, efficient and realistic. Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have with Waymo, will help to drive innovative technology to the forefront”, said the late and former CEO of FCA, Sergio Marchionne.

This is extraordinary news for people that are tired of traffic or having to commute to work. Someday, millions of people won’t have to struggle with such daily inconveniences. Interested in taking the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica for a spin? Stop by the Miami Lakes AutoMall located in Miami Lakes, FL or visit our website for more information on our entire new car inventory selection.