Self-driving car R&D site in Michigan

Foxconn Technology Group, which is best known as an iPhone manufacturer, is planning a multi-billion dollar R&D site in Michigan, dedicated to developing self-driving cars.

This announcement came shortly after the company said it will build a $10 billion facility in Wisconsin that would make LCD displays and could generate as many as 13,000 jobs.

Foxconn founder, Terry Gou, says that automotive development in the US is still more advanced than in China. In addition to self-driving technology, Gou is also interested in artificial intelligence and deep learning technology.

While Foxconn is an established and successful company, it also has plenty of competition in Michigan with other automakers such as General Motors, Ford Motors and Chrysler also having their headquarters in Michigan. Due to this close competition it is essential to remain competitive in the market, therefore Foxconn establishing the following R&D center will greatly assist the company to remain at the forefront of the competition.

While Foxconn’s plans for the R&D facility seem promising, there is still some uncertainty as to whether they will come to fruition. Foxcomm have previously announced plans to build a $30 million facility in 2013, however these plans were never executed.

Now seems like a more urgent time than ever for Foxcomm to open their R&D center as Japanese car makers Mazda and Toyota have also announced a partnership to build a $1.6 billion plant close by. Additionally, American tech giants like Google parent company Alphabet and ride-hailing company Uber are also deep in the field.

Innovative automotive development in the US is taking off with several companies investing into developing similar advanced technologies. Investment into R&D allows for a company to distinguish itself from others that are pursuing similar projects, and this is what Foxconn is aiming to achieve.

For companies in Michigan that are investing into R&D, the State research and development tax credit is a valuable tool. If you would like to discuss the R&D Tax credit further, please contact a Swanson Reed’s R&D tax advisor today.

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