Google is opening a self-driving car technology center in Detroit to ‘further develop and refine self-driving technology’.

The new 53,000sqft site will open in Novi, Michigan, trialing cars provided by Fiat Chrysler in what is Google’s first direct collaboration with a car-maker to develop autonomous vehicles. Earlier, Google said it intends to double the size of Fiat’s autonomous fleet to 200 cars.

Google’s parent company Alphabet said, ‘For the past few years, members of our team have been working from the Greater Detroit area. Now it’s time to lay down roots. 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.’

Fiat will provide 100 Chrysler Pacifica vans to the Google centre, all of which will be fitted with Google’s autonomous technology. They will join Google’s other 100 cars for road testing.

Alphabet added, ‘One of the first tasks will be to ready our self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. We’ll begin moving in throughout 2016.’