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American cities, including Detroit, invest heavily in autonomous vehicle tech

Nissan autonomous car prototype

A huge race is underway. It's not a car race, but it does involve cars. 

American cities are vying to be the country's hub for autonomous vehicles, according to a recent article in the Detroit Free Press. And they're doing so by investing hundreds of millions of dollars in testing facilities, research institutions, car companies, and more. 

Some of the cities trying to seize this potentially world-shifting technology include well-known tech hubs like Austin and Boston. But the list also includes cities like Reno, where Telsa built a factory and Google purchased 1,210 acres, many suspect, to build an autonomous vehicle testing facility. 

Detroit and Michigan are as well-poised as any place. In addition to major research institutions committed to this technology, like the University of Michigan, there's also the under-construction American Center for Mobility, an enormous autonomous vehicle test facility located in Ypsilanti that's expected to open later this year.  

[For more information on the American Center for Mobility, check out this Model D article on the future of Michigan Avenue]

"What we're going to create is ... a lifelike proving ground so we can really exercise these (driverless) vehicles," said John Maddox, CEO of the American Center for Mobility, in the Free Press article. "No one will have the full scope of what we will have."

There's also, of course, the major auto companies still in the state, all of which are investing in autonomous vehicles. 
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