Alphabet isn't the only one working on Autonomous cars. Ford, GM, Tesla and several other car makers are also working on autonomous cars, and the University of Michigan has even put together a state-of-the-art track at their campus in Ann Arbor. However, Alphabet is looking to create their own track where they can test their own self-driving tracks. Seeing as Google has a campus in Ann Arbor (Alphabet and Google co-founder Larry Page is an alumni of the University of Michigan located in Ann Arbor, MI), they are looking to create a track nearby.
According to a report out of Crain's Detroit Business, Alphabet is looking for an area of about 30,000 square feet for their new R&D facility. The company has been looking in Farmington Hills, Troy, and Southfield. All of which are about 20-30 miles from their Ann Arbor campus. It's likely that Ann Arbor could soon become a test city for the company's self-driving cars. After all, autonomous cars are legal in the state of Michigan, with Ford and General Motors both testing out their own autonomous cars in the state.
Currently, Alphabet is only testing their self-driving cars in a handful of cities. However news broke last week that the company may expand across the pond into London. As officials have been in contact with Alphabet about bringing their self-driving cars over that way. Right now, Google has been focusing their self-driving car initiative on the US. But in order for self-driving cars to be the future, it will need to expand outside of the US. Especially with the company competing with both Ford and GM, two companies that have been making cars for years and years. Definitely have a big advantage over Google.
Nothing is official just yet, but we could see Google creating their own self-driving car track here pretty soon. A bit interesting that they are aiming for the suburbs when the Mayor of Detroit has been pushing more and more companies to come into Detroit. Although there's not much room in Downtown Detroit for a 30,000 track for Google to test out their self-driving cars.