Mobility is a critical pursuit that will impact the world environmentally, economically and technologically. It will help improve air quality and reduce fossil fuel consumption. It will lead to fewer, yet more sophisticated, vehicles and roadways. And it will provide a safer and more convenient mode of transportation for consumers and commerce alike. Michigan is at the hub for all things mobility and is leading the way in this revolution of the transportation industry.
PlanetM originated from the collective mobility efforts of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), MICHauto, Business Leaders for Michigan and the University Research Corridor (URC). It is designed to keep Michigan at the forefront of regulatory issues, legislative rulings, mobility technologies, research and development, testing, and deployment of mobility services. Through this mission, PlanetM is continuing to grow. Its members now include more than 40 public and private partners working together to advance the mobility industry in the state, with representation from business, higher education, startup groups and governmental bodies. PlanetM’s mission is to brand Michigan’s unique ecosystem and leading role in transforming the diverse means of transportation by which people and goods move.
The PlanetM campaign was created to elevate Michigan as the hub of mobility innovations, leading to more business investment and jobs in the state. Michigan’s mobility assets include the established automotive foundation, talent and intellectual capital, connected vehicle projects and research and development including:
The Michigan Advantage
More than half of the world’s population live in towns and cities, and by 2040, researchers project that two out of three people will live in urban environments. As people change the way they live, travel and use services, the technologies that are changing the transportation industry will be created in the state. Conceptualization, testing, and validation of these technologies is being done right here, right now.
Only in Michigan are government officials collaborating with academia and private partners to create a framework to establish industry standards and policies on how mobility related technology is tested and deployed.
An Established Foundation
Michigan is the global epicenter of the automotive industry and maintains a leadership position in providing the foundation to lead transportation innovations. Home to 375 automotive R&D centers and 61 of North America’s top 100 auto suppliers, the state is poised to maintain that leadership far into the future.
Michigan produces the talent and innovation that will lead mobility innovations, and has 15 universities and colleges with nationally-ranked undergraduate engineering programs, four of which have nationally-ranked graduate programs. Due to this robust educational infrastructure, the state has the highest concentration of engineers in the nation. Michigan generates 26 percent of all automotive patents, which is nearly three times as many as any other state and leads the nation in patents relating to navigation and smart mobility.
A Connected State
Michigan has several projects and assets that are leading autonomous and connected vehicle testing. As one of only 16 states that allow testing of fully autonomous vehicles on public roads, the state offers an all-year all-weather testing environment, critical in testing autonomous technologies.
Michigan is home to the largest deployment of freeway and surface street V2I technology in the United States, which will eventually span 120 miles throughout southeastern Michigan roadways referred to as the transportation triangle, (I-96, I-696, I-94 and US-23) and will become a vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technology-enable corridor.
Pilot applications are being tested in the Transportation Triangle that include; red light violation warning, a system that alerts drivers who are approaching an intersection that they will run a red light if they continue at their current speed, or if another vehicle is likely to run the red light. Work zone warning/management, provides real time, accurate location of lane closures due to road construction, and other related hazards such as slow or stopped vehicles. Road weather management: vehicle- and infrastructure-based road weather management solutions, which can detect hazardous conditions like icy roads. Connected vehicle applications take this one step further by providing accurate road condition information to the driver through the use of mobile weather stations. Also, an application that can monitor pavement conditions. This system of sensors can detect and measure pavement conditions throughout our road network, mapping out and measuring potholes and assessing overall pavement condition.
The Michigan Advantage
By the end of 2017, Michigan will be home to two permanent and purpose-built autonomous vehicle testing sites. Nowhere else in the U.S. has resources like these facilities. Mcity, on the campus of the University of Michigan is a 32-acre connected and autonomous vehicle testing site that simulates urban and suburban environments. Opened in 2015, this facility is still in high demand from manufacturers and suppliers looking to test and validation their wares. The second facility, the American Center for Mobility is a 335-acre site which will provide additional testing and validation resources for the industry, including higher speeds and interaction with rail and flight.
The University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center brings together companies from around the world in industries ranging from insurance to telecommunications to big data, in addition to OEMs and suppliers, for one of the most wide ranging partnerships ever undertaken at an academic institution. The sole purpose is to develop and implement an advanced system of connected and autonomous vehicles in Ann Arbor by 2021.
The Mobility Transformation Center has three major vehicle deployments in various stages of development and execution. Connected Ann Arbor (as many as 9,000 vehicles across 27 square miles in and around Ann Arbor), Connected Southeast Michigan (as many as 20,000 vehicles across southeast Michigan), and Connected and Automated Ann Arbor (an advanced system of connected and automated vehicles, culminating in an on-demand mobility service in Ann Arbor).
Research And Development
The state’s universities are home to programs and research groups that are in place to propel the industry. The Automotive Safety & Transportation Research group is a collaboration between four Michigan schools which partners with industry players like General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and General Dynamics Land Systems, as well as the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Health. Faculty from engineering programs are working with MDOT and the Federal Housing Administration on transportation research projects including passive safety, active safety, behavior science, road and pedestrian safety, cybersecurity and vehicle connectivity. Faculty members from Wayne State University’s College of Engineering lead this educational and research-based program that focuses on enterprise security and connected/embedded security.
The Michigan Advantage
Safety and security are of the utmost important, and often on the top of people’s mind when discussing connected and autonomous vehicles. The Michigan Cyber Range, which offers multiple hubs for industry, academia and talent to run cyber exercises dedicated to mitigating risk and better securing mobility platforms for automotive, aerospace and robotics.
It is hardly a coincidence that the state that put the world on wheels is leading world in the autonomous vehicle revolution – the next chapter in the history of transportation. Michigan and PlanetM partnering for tomorrow’s solution.
It’s time to be bold. Time to dream. Time to think big.
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