DETROIT -- The American Center for Mobility secured $2 million in funding from Subaru of America Inc., the suburban Detroit autonomous vehicle testing site said on Tuesday at the Detroit auto show.
Subaru joins AT&T, Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co., Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. and Visteon Corp. in funding the newly opened site. To date, ACM has secured $110 million in funding toward the total $135 million cost of the 500-acre proving grounds at Willow Run.
The state of Michigan approved $35 million for the nonprofit controlling ACM, Willow Run Arsenal of Democracy Landholdings LP, to support the construction of the first phase of the project -- which includes a 2.5-mile highway loop with on- and off-ramps, a 700-degree curved tunnel, customer garage and operations center. Phase one opened in December.
The Strategic Fund board also approved a state Renaissance Zone designation that waives property taxes for 15 years, worth $1.9 million per year.
The remaining funds came form private partners including Subaru, which was on site last week for training and will begin testing at ACM later this week, the nonprofit center said in a news release. Subaru members will serve on ACM's advisory board as well.
"The U.S. market has long been a very important part of the success of Subaru, and as so, it is a major goal of ours to create a product that will be appealing to the U.S. customer," Kaminga Shirakawa, vice president of Subaru Research and Development, said in the release. "We are looking forward to working with ACM in the future development of the facility and using this impressive resource to provide the highest quality products possible."
Construction of the next phase at ACM is expected to begin this spring and will feature a technology park for customers, an urban driving environment and ACM's new headquarters, which are housed at the former Willow Run airport terminal.
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