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Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog

February 22, 2016

Google Moves Fast on Autonomous Vehicles

Interest in automated vehicles is travelling at ‘Googlespeed’ with the announcement that the Silicon Valley behemoth is looking for still more space in the metro Detroit area to chase its autonomous vehicle R&D ambitions.
 
Fast on the heels of the announcement that the State of Michigan may convert the former Willow Run airport into an autonomous vehicle test facility, is a rumor that Google is looking for at least 30,000 sq-ft of R&D space in Farmington Hills, Troy or Southfield. Google already has 90,000 sq-ft of space in Farmington Hills and 140,000 sq-ft in Ann Arbor where the company recently advertised for a project manager for self-driving vehicles.

The Detroit three and their suppliers need to be just as fast in their pursuit of autonomous vehicle technology. That’s why MICHauto established its Michigan Mobility Initiative last year to help strengthen and protect the state’s global leadership in next generation mobility development. I am honored to be the chairman of MICHauto and I am convinced that our automotive R&D resources in Michigan are unmatched anywhere else in the world.  

The entire global auto industry seems to be in agreement that technological changes coming to the industry in the next decade will make previous changes seem pale in comparison. This change will create myriad opportunities for existing suppliers and new technology companies to enter the field. At Warner Norcross, our automotive team is excited about the changes and eager to work with the companies making them happen. Whether it’s patenting your designs and technologies, protecting them via contracts, or helping you make sure they land on the right desk at the right company, we know our way around the industry and can help guide your process. Automotive supply chain is all we do.

Regardless of what else happens in Michigan’s future, the auto industry will always be a critical component. Although, if we want to further our place in the mobility sector we need to double down on talent recruitment and retention, work seamlessly with both government agencies and universities and attract more tech companies . The successful players in the automated vehicle chase today will be the successful companies in the long run. Now is the time to get in on the action.  
 

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