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Autonomous car software firm to invest $3.8 million to expand R&D near Charlottesville

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced that Perrone Robotics, a developer of autonomous car software, will invest $3.8 million to expand its research and development operation in Albemarle County to add to its test track and facilities.

Virginia successfully competed against California, Michigan, and Pennsylvania for the project, which will create 127 new jobs over the next three years.

“Entrepreneurial companies like Perrone Robotics are putting Virginia on the map for cutting-edge industry and the jobs that come with it,” Governor McAuliffe was quoted as saying in a news release. “This expansion is a testament to Virginia’s stellar technology workforce and competitive business climate, particularly for high-tech companies in sectors like autonomous vehicles. Perrone Robotics’ impressive growth is a great example of the success that companies large and small are having in the new Virginia economy, and we are proud to have this industry leader on our corporate roster.”

Perrone Robotics, Inc. (PRI), based in Crozet, Virginia, was formed in 2003 and has been developing mobile autonomous robotics solutions ever since. Perrone provides services to companies to help them build and deploy their own robotics and autonomous solutions.

“Having fallen in love with the area during my college years, I relocated back to Charlottesville in 2003 to establish a robotics company,” said Perrone Robotics Chief Executive Officer Paul Perrone. “For me, this region offered the perfect blend of high tech energy and a cultured university town with arts, high quality of living, and natural beauty that is unmatched in the U.S.

“As a pioneering high-tech robotics and autonomous vehicle company, we’ve been able to establish a development center here with a private driverless vehicle test track, large robot maker space and workshop, and flexible office space. All this complete with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop and proximity to the emerging Crozet downtown mall,” Perrone was quoted as saying.

“These facilities and work environment give us not only a tremendous competitive edge to create autonomous vehicles and robotics, but also attract high tech staff who want to be part of the historic gold rush in robotic vehicles while embracing the rich and diverse lifestyle in the heart of Virginia.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Perrone Robotics’ new job creation through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities.

As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for its citizens. Albemarle County will match the VJIP funding awarded to the company to support the expansion project.

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