By CBS Detroit
Michigan is the Auto Capital and now efforts to stay in front of sweeping change in how we get around has leaders here working to add Mobility Capital too.
Trevor Pawl, Group Vice President of Planet M, Kirk Steudle, Director of MDOT, John McElroy, of Autoline and WWJ Newsradio 950, and Robert Tiderington, Senior Manager of Maven, appeared with “Michigan Matters” Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain to discuss the mobility revolution. Pawl runs Planet M which the state launched to help lead in this mobility renaissance that revolves around autonomous vehicles.
Right now, we are at the dawn of this autonomous era. But make no mistake, the move to fully self-driving vehicles isn’t far off, said McElroy. Some say five years, others 10 to 20. It will impact all of us, they added.
Other folks aren’t giving up the wheel just yet but are getting around using cheaper ride sharing services such as Maven, which GM launched 18 months ago.
Tiderington mentioned the average age of a car buyer is 55 years old but that those using car sharing services tends to skew younger. Maven features GM vehicles and is adding the electric Chevy Bolt too. Maven allows customers to sign up at no cost and use their smartphones to locate, reserve and unlock vehicles The cost starts at $7 an hour. Maven has over 19,000 members from Detroit, Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orlando, Denver, and Washington, D.C.
Steudle talked about the American Center for Mobility which is coming to life at the former Willow Run plant in Ypsilanti. It’s extends over 335-acres where testing, education and product development of autonomous vehicles will eventually take place. He hopes the American Center for Mobility will have as much impact on our autonomous future as Willow Run had in saving our nation during World War II. Steudle also oversees the state’s highways, interstates and bridges. He talked about current infrastructure needs and repairs taking place on the Rouge Bridge and M-59 in Macomb County.
He addressed the delicate balancing act of fixing roads for today but ones that will work when autonomous vehicles dominate the state tomorrow.
You can hear the conversation by watching “Michigan Matters” 11:30 Sunday on CBS 62.