Foxconn plans to build self-driving car R&D centre in Michigan


Jay Greene/CNET

Foxconn Technology Group, perhaps better known as an iPhone manufacturer, said it’s planning a “multi-billion dollar” RD facility in Michigan dedicated to the development of self-driving cars, South China Morning Post reported Sunday. 

The announcement came just days after the company said it will build a $10 billion facility in Wisconsin which will make LCD displays and could generate as many as 13,000 jobs. 

“Automotive development in the US is still more advanced than China,” Foxconn founder Terry Gou said to the publication. “Besides self-driving technology, I’m also interested in artificial intelligence and deep learning technology.”  

Foxconn will face plenty of competition in Michigan, where other automakers such as General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler have their headquarters established. Japanese carmakers Mazda and Toyota have also announced a partnership to build a $1.6 billion plant in the US. In terms of self-driving technologies, American tech giants like Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and ride-hailing company Uber, already have their hands and feet deep into the field.

Whether the plans come to fruition remains to be seen. Previous reports highlight there’s a possibility they could still fall through, noting a Foxconn plan in 2013 to build a $30 million Pennsylvania factory never materialised.

Foxconn didn’t immediately respond to a request for comments.

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