Waymo announced today its plan to manufacture self-driving vehicles in Michigan after the state's authorities granted permission to set up shop in the region. The company has yet to pick a specific production facility in Southeast Michigan, but its selection of the state comes as no surprise given its important role in the country's auto industry.
In a Medium post announcing its plan, Waymo said it will hire engineers, operations experts, and fleet coordinators over the next few years as part of efforts to expand its manufacturing presence in the area. The company added:
"Thanks to our collaboration with [Michigan Economic Development Corporation], we’ll bring new job opportunities to the talented citizens of Southeast Michigan. The Great Lakes State is one we already know and love, with a talented workforce and excellent snowy conditions for our cars to test."
It has already been testing its self-driving vehicles in the state since late 2017. The Alphabet-owned company will collaborate with auto industry supplier Magna to bake its self-driving software into different vehicles.
Waymo's fleet of autonomous vehicles includes Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Jaguar Land Rover. Earlier last year, the company purchased 62,000 Pacifica minivans as part of an expanded partnership with the automobile maker. This was preceded by a long-term strategic deal signed between Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover a few months prior for the development of self-driving electric vehicles.