Michigan Plans to Become Mobility Epicenter

Nov 4, 2016

The home of American automobile manufacturing, Michigan plans to take a leading role in the evolution of transportation technology.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is sponsoring Planet M, the state’s partnership branding initiative to foster, retain and grow the mobility sector and position Michigan as the global epicenter for future transportation as part of AutoMobili-D, according to a press release from the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

The initiative was also discussed in forums at the 2016 SEMA Show.

“Michigan put the world on wheels over a century ago and with the state’s private and public companies coming together to form Plant M, Michigan is positioned to innovate and launch future mobility technologies that will positively impact the world for another century,” said Sam Slaughter, 2017 NAIAS chairman. “Showcasing these exciting initiatives in front of tens of thousands of mobility-focused individuals from across the globe attending AutoMobili-D will provide the ideal platform for new connections and collaborations.”

AutoMobili-D will run from Sunday, Jan. 8 to Thursday, Jan. 12 as part of the North American International Auto Show’s Press Preview week, and feature over 120 companies within a dedicated 120,000-square-foot dynamic exposition. The mobility effort includes everything from mobile electronics to the latest autonomous vehicle and propulsion technologies.

As part of the MEDC’s commitment to AutoMobili-D, Hall E adjacent to Cobo Center’s atrium will be renamed Planet M. In addition, a display within Planet M will highlight leading mobility companies and initiatives happening in Michigan.

“Many of the auto shows around the world are adding more technology and mobility components,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “Planet M is Michigan’s effort to showcase our leadership in this space, and it’s a perfect campaign fit for the new AutoMobili-D section of one of the best auto shows in the world.”

By 2017, Michigan will be home to two permanent and purpose-built autonomous vehicle testing sites, Mcity and the American Center for Mobility.

“Cars aren’t going away anytime soon. But how we use them is changing in very fundamental ways,” said Kevin Kerrigan, MEDC Auto Office SVP. “NAIAS is one of the world’s top venues for automotive innovation, and AutoMobili-D will extend the show’s vision into the future of personal transportation.”

Planet M was launched in June 2016 as a collaborative branding effort to promote Michigan as the epicenter of mobility. The messaging pushes Michigan’s leadership in talent development, auto R&D and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) testing, according to the release.

Leading the mobility movement, Michigan’s universities are home to programs and research groups driving the industry. Programs and projects include Cybersecurity, Big Data and Business Analytics and Next-Generation Auto.

The University Research Corridor universities (University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University) invest over $60 million annually on automotive innovation related to research and development, and the state is home to the largest concentration of engineers in the nation.