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Planned high-tech research center in Anniston could trigger future development

New Flyer plans to open its new innovation center in October. Company officials have said the center will be the first of its kind in North America that focuses on the improvement of bus transit technology. New Flyer’s goal is to build more advanced buses that are autonomous and generate zero emissions using more efficient battery technology.

“What we see in the automotive industry, driverless cars and trucks and electric vehicles — it’s all cutting edge at this point,” said Cristina Benton, director of market and industry analysis at Anderson Economic Group, a Michigan-based research and consulting firm. “All the manufacturers are looking into it.”

High-tech companies like automaker Tesla and Internet giant Google have been on the forefront of developing better battery technology and autonomous driving. Also earlier this week, German automaker Mercedes announced a $1 billion investment in its Tuscaloosa plant to develop and build all-electric vehicles.

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