A Mountain View, California-based company specializing in advanced driverless vehicle technology has announced plans to build a new 85,000 square foot full-service facility in Mesa.
Waymo LLC opened an operations center and garage in Chandler three years ago as part of a larger business model seeing driverless cars operating inside what is called a geo-fenced vicinity that also includes the city of Tempe and the village of Ahwatukee.
What is being called the Technical Service Center will provide a Mesa facility for Waymo to service and maintain a growing fleet of several hundred vehicles. The company says the new facility will help them more than double their capacity to keep that fleet in condition.
The new center is expected to be built near the intersection of Broadway Road and Dobson Road on the west side of Mesa, although the exact site location has not yet been disclosed.
Waymo first began research work on self-driving technology in 2009, and launched a self-driving taxi service in greater Phoenix in 2017.
The company expanded its Chandler operations last year, adding more than 20,000 square feet to an existing 39,000 square foot facility.
Waymo is also currently retrofitting a 200,000 square foot manufacturing space in Novi, Michigan, 30 miles northwest of Detroit. That project comes with a $14 million price tag.
The company uses a radar-like technology in its vehicles, along with cameras and internal maps, to navigate streets and roads.
According to statistics compiled by Waymo, its cars have to date logged more than 10 million miles on roads in Arizona, California, Georgia, Michigan, and Washington.
The company has said that it is invested in the larger metropolitan Phoenix because it comprises a sprawling area with wide city streets and a population that is vehicle-dependent.
By Garry Boulard
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