Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report automated self-driving startup Waymo announced on Tuesday that it will partner with Detroit-based American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL) - Get Report to mass-produce its self-driving cars.
In a blog post titled Making Waymos in Motor City, Waymo CEO John Krafcik announced that it will lease and repurpose American Axle's existing Detroit facility to mass-produce the cars, and that the factory will be operational by mid-2019.
Waymo said in January it had chosen Michigan for its first production facility, adding it would receive incentives from the public-private partnership agency, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and create up to 400 jobs over time exclusively related to self-driving.
"Today, we're excited to announce that we've found the perfect facility in Detroit," Krafcik said. "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."
Waymo is generally thought of as being a few car lengths ahead in the race to get self-driving cars on the roads. It already operates a robotaxi service in Arizona that it plans to expand geographically over time.
- John Krafcik (@johnkrafcik) April 4, 2019
Waymo is competing with rivals General Motors (GM) - Get Report and soon-to-be-publicly traded Uber Technologies to deploy such vehicles for the masses. Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report CEO Elon Musk this week announced plans to launch a robotaxi service in 2020.