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Google is building a self-driving car R&D center near Detroit

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Google's Self-Driving Car Project just announced on Google+ that it's building what it calls a "self-driving technology development center" in Novi, Michigan, about 30 miles northwest of Detroit. The 53,000-square-foot facility will be used for research and development in concert with the company's Michigan-based partners — this is still the home of the American auto industry, after all — and will be where Google works alongside Fiat Chrysler (based another 30 miles north in Auburn Hills) to build its self-driving minivans starting later this year. "Many of our current partners are based here, so having a local facility will help us collaborate more easily and access Michigan's top talent in vehicle development and engineering," the post reads.

The Novi facility is expected to open later this year.