01 Overview
02 Talent Pipeline
03 Industry Ecosystem
04 Labor Analysis
05 Operating Cost Analysis
06 Quality of Life

Driving the Future in

Greater Phoenix

The cutting edge of autonomous vehicle research and development

Autonomous vehicles are changing the world we live in, and Greater Phoenix is leading the way in supporting the development and testing of this transformative technology.

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Cost Analysis


Greater Phoenix is exceptionally positioned to absorb both new-to-market companies and expansion of the value chain in the region for businesses looking to start or relocate. Between the talent pipeline, low operating costs, and industry ecosystem, Greater Phoenix is the perfect location for Autonomous Vehicles research and development.


Value Proposition

Quality of Life

Greater Phoenix offers shorter commute times than peer markets, more than 300 days of sunshine annually, and fewer days with significant weather interruptions.


Because of the gridded road system, the test environment for autonomous vehicles is more forgiving. The city is dedicated to continued investment in street infrastructure and warm temperatures eliminate freeze and thaw potholes.

Supply Chain

Greater Phoenix offers a robust ecosystem with a significant presence from advanced technology companies. The region also has a longstanding automotive R&D infrastructure with many major automakers.

Regulatory Environment

Greater Phoenix offers a pro-business regulatory environment that encourages autonomous vehicle development. Limited reporting and permitting means more time for testing on the roads.

Competitive Operating Costs

Greater Phoenix offers lower annual operating costs than Dallas and San Jose with cheaper real estate and benefit costs compared to peer markets. Greater Phoenix also offers several quality incentives to further decrease operating costs.


Talent Pipeline

Greater Phoenix boasts competitive, non-distance program completions at colleges and universities in concentrations related to autonomous vehicles research and development.


Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Institute

Located at Mesa Community College, the Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AzAMI) offers industry certifications; stackable credentials that are competency-based with degree and certificate programs; flexible models of delivery; and portable labs for on-site training to ensure the region has the necessary pipeline of talent for present and future companies. By partnering with leaders in the manufacturing sector, AzAMI can ensure programs meet the needs of the industry

Program and Career Options

  • Additive manufacturing processes
  • Aerospace manufacturing technology
  • Automation & robotic technology
  • Electronics technology
  • Electrical/Mechanical drafting
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Machinist apprenticeship
  • Welding technology

Corporate Programs

Through a partnership with Boeing, AzAMI offers an eight-day Cable Harness Wiring Boot Camp. The program was developed with Boeing to ensure students learn the skills needed. Upon successful completion of the bootcamp, students are reimbursed the cost of tuition, receive an industry certification, and the opportunity to interview with aerospace companies in Greater Phoenix.

Greater Phoenix Talent Pipeline

Below are total numbers of non-distance program completions at colleges and universities in Greater Phoenix with degree programs relevant to the development of autonomous vehicles. The region produced over 4,500 graduates in these fields during the 2018 to 2019 school year. The region’s universities are committed to supplying the workforce needed to enable companies to scale in the region. Comparison data for peer markets has been provided below.

Autonomous Vehicles in Phoenix

Autonomous Vehicles in Phoenix


Industry Ecosystem

Greater Phoenix is home to every piece of the autonomous vehicle supply chain.

Autonomous Vehicles Supply Chain

Industry leaders have nothing but positive things to say about conducting critical research and development in Greater Phoenix. The companies below represent a sample of the firms currently operating in the region, showing high success rates and continuous growth.

Autonomous Vehicles

Local Innovation

Autonomous R&D in Greater Phoenix

Arizona is a leading state for cutting-edge research and the development of autonomous vehicles. Listed below are the firms developing autonomous technologies in Greater Phoenix.


Labor Analysis

Greater Phoenix has a robust supply of human capital at an affordable cost. Below is a table of median wages across peer markets for autonomous vehicle occupations.


Labor Pool

The table below shows employment for the following occupations in the selected metros.

Occupation Phoenix Austin Dallas/ Fort Worth Reno San Jose
General and Operations Managers 39,595 19,205 60,936 14,065 17,230
Software Developers, Applications 13,240 13,699 34,256 15,672 52,353
Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other, Including Team Assemblers 12,051 3,292 27,321 6,223 8,865
Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators 9,012 4,612 23,609 43,275 1,522
Software Developers, Systems Software 7,812 7,652 11,986 28,694 28,523
First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers 7,295 2,672 13,429 6,758 3,173
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers 6,302 4,133 15,800 4,121 5,158
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers 4,156 1,889 9,873 11,955 1,578
Electrical Engineers 3,241 2,601 4,965 6,162 5,371
Machinists 3,228 1,608 5,391 6,113 3,089

Operating Cost Analysis

Greater Phoenix has competitive operating costs for autonomous vehicles research and development businesses starting or relocating operations compared to other top markets. Despite having one of the largest talent pools among peer markets, the region has one of the lowest employee payroll costs, while also boasting affordable real estate payments.

The Annual Business Operating Cost Analysis has been prepared using the following parameters as an estimate for autonomous vehicle research and development operations in competitor markets. Component and custom analyses to match your company’s operations can be provided upon request.

Assumptions – R&D

  • $5,000,000 personal property investment
  • 50,000-square-foot High Tech, Lease
  • Utilities (per month):
    • Electricity: 75KW, 30,000KWh
    • Water/Wastewater: 3,000cf, 5/8 meter
  • 100 jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics equivalent occupations)
Occupations Employment
Software Developers, Applications 20
Mechanical Engineer 15
Software Developers, Systems Software 15
Computer Hardware Engineers 14
Electrical Engineers 10
Computer Programmers 10
Computer Systems Analysts 10
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Tech 5
General and Operations Managers 1
Total: 100

Quality Of Life

Greater Phoenix is home to hundreds of parks and hundreds of miles of hiking, biking and walking trails.



Parks & Recreation


Greater Phoenix is home to hundreds of parks and hundreds of miles of hiking, biking and walking trails. Greater Phoenix has the largest municipal park in the United States, South Mountain Park. South Mountain Park covers more than 16,000 acres. Other large parks in the region include the White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak and the Superstition Mountains. Notable walking trails in the region include the canal system, Tempe Town Lake, the Greenbelt and Papago Park.

Cost of Living

Greater Phoenix provides the right combination of affordability, size and scalability. Compared to other metros, Greater Phoenix is less expensive or competitive across all major expenses.

Autonomous Vehicles in Phoenix

Companies in Greater Phoenix

  • Toyota
  • Lexus
  • Ford
  • Volvo
  • Nuro
  • Intel
  • Olli
  • Waymo
  • Volkswagen
  • Nissan
  • Cruise
  • Infiniti

Want to see a full list of companies in Greater Phoenix? Download the complete report.

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