Automotive parts supplier Robert Bosch is building a mega $1.1 billion chip (semiconductor) manufacturing plant. Touted as the biggest investment in its history, as Bosch prepares for an increase in demand for components used in self-driving/ autonomous vehicles.
The Bosch factory in Dresden, Germany will start manufacturing chips required for self-driving vehicles, smart homes and Internet-linked city infrastructure in 2021.
The company will employ as many as 700 workers when the construction is completed in 2019.
"Expanding our production capacity will help us boost our competitive position," Chief Executive Officer Volkmar Denner said in the statement. He added that the use of semiconductors is growing as "connectivity and automation rise."
Even as the nature of driving changes, Bosch, known as a manufacturer of traditional auto parts such as braking systems and combustion engines, is also a software developer and is increasingly investing in newer technologies.
Bosch has been making chips for a range of products, including smartphones, for more than four decades. In 2016, every car sold in the world contained an average of nine chips made by the company.
The chips produced in Dresden, Germany will be included in several Bosch products such as airbag sensors, autonomous steering, pressure gauges and communication technologies, a spokesman said.
Bosch has been at the forefront in producing automotive parts for almost every carmaker in the world. With the change in the dynamics of self-driving cars, it was only time Bosch entered the world of autonomous technology.