California Automotive Technology and Development Complex
Located 80 miles directly east of Silicon Valley, the California AutoTech Testing, Development and Production Center (CATDC) is designed to be a direct extension of Silicon Valley’s global automotive research and product development industry concentration and a hub for product assembly and component manufacturing. The CATDC’s design is engineered to be a one-of-a-kind automotive industry complex that capitalizes on California’s substantial technology, research, software development and tech financing presence as an integrated research, testing and manufacturing complex.
The CATDC is approximately 700 acres in size and is a component of the Mid-California International Trade District (MCITD). As part of the CATDC, Google/Waymo has developed a proprietary 105-acre test complex for their autonomous vehicle program.
For technology companies and suppliers, the CATDC offers a large-scale custom testing and development environment, complete with customized infrastructure for a range of testing requirements. The CATDC will be built as a secure facility and will provide access to onsite equipment and support amenities such as office space, shop facilities, vehicle and equipment storage and secure high-speed telecommunications infrastructure for data transmission. The CATDC will have onsite staff to provide support to client companies.
To automotive sector OEMs, the MCITD offers an integrated testing, development and production capability. With immediate access to the multi-zone autotech testing and development complex alongside a cost-effective, high-quality planned industrial park setting, the MCITD is a North American center for the next generation of automotive investment. The project offers site availability for component manufacturing and vehicle assembly, and the overall site is designed to support the requirements of efficient domestic and global supply chain systems. All sites are seconds from the onsite cargo airport, new highway connector road and freight rail capability for domestic and international ocean cargo movements. In this way, the MCITD and CATDC package offer a very special US West Coast location as a logistics and production center. This packaged product will provide an especially valuable for new entrants to the US market, especially those from Asia.
A Global Convergence Hub for a Technology Development and Product Testing
Growing from its longstanding global leadership in software development and product innovation, the Silicon Valley is now a global center for the next-generation of automotive technologies. Today, practically every established and new to market OEM and technology supplier in the larger mobility sector has a presence in Silicon Valley working on the development of a complex range of technologies including: artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensor integration, optical capture products/camera systems, propulsion systems, energy storage, mapping, mobile telecommunications and infotainment systems. The industry and its research is moving at pace and much of that research and product development requires offsite testing and development support facilities. There is a dramatic shortage of testing and development facilities and specifically in California given the sizable presence of sector research and development. The CATDC was designed in partnership and with the advice of leaders in the industry to support those requirements at a shared-use custom facility that is within an easy drive of the research lab headquarters.
Many automotive sector companies have described a critical requirement for this kind of asset in the vicinity of their Silicon Valley research labs and studios and with practically every motor vehicle industry corporate player in the world having a presence there, the need is high and growing. Google has invested onsite because of the site’s capabilities and its easy proximity to their Mountain View headquarters. Numerous companies have begun to make use of the site in search of either a proprietary testing or a manufacturing location, or a combination facility leading the project team to develop this proposal. As designed, the CATDC provides for those capacities in one master-planned environment and provides California an opportunity to harness the enormous technology power of the region to become a major international automotive development and manufacturing center.
UC Berkeley, Stanford, USC and Carnegie -Mellon Universities have been helpful in providing advice on the project and it is also important to note that the UC Merced main campus is located nearby and the school has invested in specialized research facilities inside the MCITD including its Drone Policy Hub and its Solar Research Institute.
The original concept for what is now the CATDC was created in collaboration with a range of research and corporate partners, who crafted the direction of the technology and needs of the industry. These project partners represented a unique and powerful assemblage of automotive technology knowledge and experience and included a collection of research professionals (corporate and research universities) and senior industry practitioners. The concept was meant to provide meaningful support the development of the automotive industry, especially as connected to global-scale R&D in Silicon Valley.
The CATDC combines distinct onsite precinct areas for:
1) urban streets testing
2) parking lot/close quarters testing
3) asymmetrical intersections testing
4) high-speed and high-speed merge testing
5) product development, including space for storage, onsite calibration and integration and quarters for small-firm laboratory, testing and office space
6) scale-up and product manufacturing
The site is within easy access to the Bay Area, allowing for product and talent transfer and same-day testing and development. The complex is also near the future station stop for both the Bay Area commuter train (Altamont Corridor Express – ACE Train) and later California High-Speed Rail. The ACE Train will allow for 45-minute commutes to San Jose and is expected to be up and running by 2019. Access to the High-Speed Rail system will allow 45-minute commutes to/from downtown San Francisco and 90-minute travel to downtown Los Angeles.
The CATDC is located near to highway CA99 which is the main north-south commercial artery running through the heart of California – connecting the Bay Area and Sacramento to the north and to Los Angeles to the south. Merced County is constructing a $100M connector road, the Atwater-Merced Expressway will connect CA99 to the project and then on to the University of California – Merced which is located just a few miles east.
The site is an easy reach to Bay Area and Los Angeles region global passenger and cargo airports and seaports. Bay Area and Sacramento airports are less than two hours away and the Ports of Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach are less than a half day’s dray.
The site is collocated with Castle Airport, which is a heavy-duty General Aviation airport. Castle Airport has a runway that is over 10,000 feet and can handle just about any commercial or cargo plane requirements.