The project will be developed in partnership with Ann Arbor SPARK and is slated to accelerate technology advancements toward self-driving cars and relevant wireless technology, according to the Detroit Free Press. The number of potential new jobs was not disclosed, but the total cost was estimated at about $90 million.
The Feds' involvement comes after a Barclays Capital report said autonomous-driving technology and car-sharing services could spell disaster for new-vehicle sales from US automakers during the next quarter century. Such technology would minimize the need for multi-car families and could cut new-vehicle sales by 40 percent or more, according to the study.
The plant, now owned by the RACER Trust, was originally built by Ford and served as a factory for World War II bombers. General Motors later operated it until it was shut down in late 2010. Willow Run was deemed a Michigan historic site in 1980. Take a look at the EDA's statement on the project here.