Ann Arbor, MI (CBS Detroit) – Michigan is known as the Auto Capital of the World, but with so much evolving in mobility, like self-driving cars, Michigan has its eyes on a new prize….being the Mobility Capital of the World. And the American Center for Mobility is one thing Michigan is doing to position itself in the highly competitive automobile industry.
One of the ways the State of Michigan is working overtime to be at the forefront of autonomous technology is MCity. MCity is a mock city built on the North side of Ann Arbor by the University of Michigan. Autonomous cars are being tested there, as well as helping to train young people for these jobs of the future.
“MCity’s role is really to be a diverse convener, and it’s not just the auto companies and the Tier 1 suppliers that we all know very well in this area,” explains Carrie Morton, Deputy Director of MCity. “It’s the insurance companies, the infrastructure providers, telecoms, and it’s our role to convene those groups together to solve those pre-competitive challenges, that not one sector or one company could solve on their own.”
Ironically, the American Center for Mobility was built at Willow Run in Ypsilanti, where bombers were built during World War II to help keep the world safe for democracy. Backers hope ACM will do the same, as it lures companies and entrepreneurs to Michigan versus Silicon Valley or other places hoping to be the hot spot for mobility research.
“We rely on our vehicles to keep us safe on the roads, and it’s really up to the developers and manufacturers of this technology to prove to the public that it is safe,” says John Maddox, CEO of American Center for Mobility. “That’s one reason why this facility is critically needed and will be highly utilized, and we think very successfully.”
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