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Google plans to open a self-driving car lab near Detroit

Automakers, watch out: Google wants access to your talent.

Google is setting up shop in the auto industry's home state. Today, CEO of the company's self-driving car project John Krafcik announced Google will be opening up a 53,000-square-foot self-driving development center in Novi, Mich.

Establishing the center in Novi, just eight miles west of Detroit, brings Google close to its many supplier partners as well as to its collaborator, Fiat Chrysler.

Earlier this month, Google announced it was partnering with the automaker to create 100 self-driving Pacifica hybrid minivans, and has already begun that work.

At the facility, Google will be preparing the sensors and software needed to operate a fully autonomous Pacifica in the hope of rolling out the first ones by the end of this year.

Automakers have flocked to Silicon Valley to set up research and development centers, which gives them access to tech talent vying for the likes of Tesla and Google. Google, in this case, is employing a similar strategy.

"Many of our current partners are based here, so having a local facility will help us collaborate more easily and access Michigan's top talent in vehicle development and engineering," Krafcik wrote in a Google+ post.

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