Foxconn, the world’s largest manufacturer responsible for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, has announced another multibillion dollar U.S. investment, this time in a Michigan self-driving facility.
The Taiwanese-based manufacturer will use the Michigan facility to develop self-driving technologies. The state has been very progressive in its legalization of self-driving cars without a backup driver, alongside its tax incentives and subsidies to manufacturers.
“Automotive development in the U.S. is still more advanced than China,” said Terry Gou, founder of Foxconn, to South China Morning Post. “Besides self-driving technology, I’m also interested in artificial intelligence and deep learning technology.”
Foxconn did not confirm the size of the investment or if the facility will ever manufacture autonomous cars or parts for automakers.
It is the second U.S. plant announcement by Foxconn this year, the first being a $ 10 billion LCD display panel facility in Wisconsin. The Washington Post said Foxconn will receive $ 3 billion in state tax breaks for the facility; a cost of around $ 230,700 per state worker.
Michigan one of a handful of driverless hubs
Michigan is one of a few self-driving hubs inside the U.S., looking to win over automakers and tech companies before federal regulations standardize autonomous tests. It legalized self-driving tests without a driver earlier this year, and invested heavily in a test town for automakers.
The results have been mixed, while the state has most of the big automakers – General Motors, Ford, and Toyota – testing autonomous cars, technology oriented firms – Waymo, Uber, and Tesla – have remained on the West coast, in Arizona and California.