Chrysler has teamed up with the Google Maps team to produce an interactive tour of its Sterling Heights factory in suburban Detroit.
Automotive factories are fascinating places, but while almost every one of us will own a car at some stage in our lives, few of us will ever witness first-hand how they're made. Those of us lucky enough to go on a factory tour are usually prevented from taking any photos or videos, for fear that we'll snap some highly secretive new process or leak any info gleaned to a competitor.
As part of its effort to promote its important new 200, Chrysler has detailed the workings of its Sterling Heights plant, which was recently refurbished, kitted out and tooled up to the tune of US$1.2 billion ($1.35bn) to produce Chrysler's important new mid-size sedan. Although the 200 has been engineered for right-hand drive, Al Gardner, Chrysler brand CEO, has told CarAdvice that it won't be produced in RHD in the near future.
The virtual factory allows users to wander and look around parts of the factory with near 360-degree vision. There are also 12 videos describing important areas along the car's route from bare shell to completed vehicle. Some of the videos may seem a little jerky, but that's because they've been filmed with Google's 360-degree camera pod, meaning you're free to take a look around as the car is being constructed and the video narrated.
Head over to www.chrysler200factory.com to check it out.
Although this the first automotive assembly line detailed in such a manner online, Google Maps has previously documented other automotive sites. For example, the search giant currently provides virtual tours of the Lamborghini, Mazda and Honda museums, as well as a Tesla showroom and McLaren's technology centre.