Big news around here last month was Google’s plan to make their mini electric autonomous vehicles here in the auto state.
Automotive News reported that “Roush is expected to retrofit an unknown existing model at its Allen Park prototyping facility near Detroit to help Google take another major step on the road to autonomous driving.”
The pod-shaped cars will have an electric motor and top out at around 25 mph.
Why in Michigan? Why, to “take advantage of southeast Michigan’s automotive supply and technology base.”
Google has been testing self-driving vehicles technology since 2009 using a fleet equipped with sensors, lasers, radar, and mapping and driving software. (Check out the cool video of the Google engineer running errands around town without touching the wheel.)
And most famously, they don’t have steering wheels, brake pedals or accelerator pedals, “because they don’t need them. Our software and sensors do all the work,” according to a blog post on Google’s Web site.
So you might not be able to call that “driving,” but we’re happy to see the vehicles are going to built here in Michigan.