Photo: AP

In the midst of getting roped in to Dieselgate for allegedly helping carmakers skirt diesel emissions tests, Bosch put down $1.1 billion to build a new chip plant for self-driving cars. This means that the biggest investment ever for the biggest auto supplier in the world is for driverless tech, which is an interesting state-of-the industry.

With hundreds of companies and start-ups angling for action in the self-driving car race, Bosch’s investment makes for a notable addition to the field. Besides chips for autonomous vehicles, the factory will build components for smart homes and “Internet-linked” city infrastructure, beginning in 2021, as Bloomberg reports.

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Bosch’s press release announcing the factory has more details on the specs of these 12-inch wafers, if you’re curious. The factory’s expected to employ more than 700 workers once it comes online in 2019.

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While it’s interesting that this is the biggest single investment for the biggest individual supplier, what we’d like to see is a full breakdown on all R&D spending for the auto industry as a whole. How does this compare to hydrogen, or whatever carmakers are chucking at flying cars these days?