Foxconn seeks to build self-driving car R&D site in Michigan

The announcement comes a week after the iPhone manufacturer said it will build a $10 billion plant in Wisconsin.

Zoey Chong
Zoey Chong Reporter
Zoey is CNET's Asia News Reporter based in Singapore. She prefers variety to monotony and owns an Android mobile device, a Windows PC and Apple's MacBook Pro all at the same time. Outside of the office, she can be found binging on Korean variety shows, if not chilling out with a book at a café recommended by a friend.

Foxconn is looking to expand to the US.

Jay Greene/CNET

Foxconn Technology Group, best known as an iPhone manufacturer, said it's planning a "multi-billion dollar" R&D facility in Michigan dedicated to developing self-driving cars, South China Morning Post reported Sunday. 

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

"Automotive development in the US is still more advanced than China," Foxconn founder Terry Gou told the Post. "Besides self-driving technology, I'm also interested in artificial intelligence and deep learning technology."  

Foxconn will face plenty of competition in Michigan, where other automakers such as General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler have their headquarters established. Japanese carmakers Mazda and Toyota have also announced a partnership to build a $1.6 billion plant in the US. In terms of self-driving technologies, American tech giants like Google parent company Alphabet and ride-hailing company Uber are already deep in the field.

Whether the Foxconn plans come to fruition remains to be seen. Previous reports highlight that there's a possibility they could still fall through, noting a Foxconn plan in 2013 to build a $30 million Pennsylvania factory never materialized.

Foxconn didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter. Here's what they're up to.

iHate: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.