Work on the cars should beging in the middle of the summer 2019.
Waymo is already a fairly recognizable name in the world of autonomous vehicles. It is, in fact, a company that has been operating as a part of web giant Google and has been active for a decade in the field of self-driving cars and related technologies. After a few years of developing technology on the basis of the Toyota Prius, it was in 2016 when it entered into a partnership with FCA, 2017 and then on the basis of the Chrysler Pacifica made the first car with the option of stage four autonomous driving.
It is this car (and Jaguar I-Pace) that, as it turns out, will also get to mass production. Waymo has, according to Automotive News Europe, made an agreement with the former manufacturer of automobile axles Axle & Manufacturing for the lease of their factory in Detroit, where production was shut down already in 2012. The space we're talking about is a little over 18,000 square meters.
"We found the perfect facility in Detroit," said General Director of Waymo, John Krafcik. "We will partner with American Axel & Manufacturing Company o repurpose the existing facility, bringing a work force back to an area where jobs in the automotive industry were recently lost." This space has until recently served as a distribution centre for another car company, and Waymo is expected to devote a good EUR 12.1 billion to renovating it.
Although the production number or rather the conversion of Waymo's vehicles into a new facility is not yet known, the autonomous vehicles of the Chrysler Pacifica and Jaguar i-Pace are expected to serve the passenger transport project in Phoenix that has started in December 2017. Work at the plant is supposed to start in the middle of this year.