Detroit is Uber's Next Target for New Facility

Sep 20, 2016 09:50 AM EDT | Julie Bedas

Unicorn startup Uber is planning to build a new facility in Detroit. This new location will allow the company to work closely with automakers.

The news came after Uber's launch of an autonomous vehicle ride-hailing program in Pittsburgh, according to Autonews. The company purchased a small number of Ford Fusion self-driving cars and debuted them on Pittsburg streets.

Detroit, which is nicknamed as the Motor City, will make it easier for the company to connect with the numerous suppliers and automakers in the area. Sherif Markably, the online transportation network's vice president of global vehicle programs, made the announcement about the planned Detroit facility on Monday.

"Detroit is where the automotive industry has really developed - very, very strong talent base; very strong companies - and Uber wants to be part of that," said Markably on Monday during the SAE Convergence conference in Novi, according to Detroit News.

There are still no major details about this upcoming facility. Markably has said that the ride-hailing company is still processing the leasing for the facility, and it will be opening "in the coming months".

The exact location in Detroit and the size of the facility has not been disclosed as of this time, but it is expected to hold a very large number of Uber employees. According to Markably, they don't have any near-term restraint.

Earlier this month, Uber made a $300 million deal with Volvo for the latter to supply SUVs to the ride-hailing company for its research on autonomous vehicle. The Volvo SUVs are Ford Fusions, 20 of which are already running on the streets on Pittsburgh and is expected to grow for up to 100 in December.

Detroit could be a possible location for another fleet of autonomous vehicles. However, this will depend on legislations as the current bills may limit Uber's operation of self-driving vehicles in the Great Lakes State.

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