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Automotive R&D facilities across the United States and in Michigan.

Auto industry is high-tech—and the numbers prove it

Those in, or knowledgeable about, the automotive industry know it to be high-tech. A new report from the Center for Automotive Research uses statistics to show just how high-tech it is. Released today, the study says the global automotive industry spends almost $100 billion annually on R&D ($18 billion in the U.S.). That averages out to about $1200 per vehicle. Automotive industry R&D constitutes 16% of R&D by all industries. About 60,000 people in the U.S. are employed in automotive R&D. The industry as a whole employs more engineers per 1000 jobs than other major sectors. The average vehicle is equipped with about 60 microprocessors—four times as many as a decade ago. It uses more than 10 million lines of software code, which is reportedly more than half the number of lines of code in the new Boeing 787 passenger jet.

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