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Ann Arbor Spark

November 16, 2021

Ann Arbor Living Lab: Interactive Project Map

Click to interact with the map.

Where the automotive industry intersects with era-defining tech innovation, you’ll find Ann Arbor, Michigan. Located 30 miles west of Detroit, regional private-public-academic partnerships have continuously invested in Ann Arbor’s mobility infrastructure, programs, and resources to ensure that the latest innovations are developed, tested, and deployed here.

To help explain the growing deployment and testing activity, Ann Arbor SPARK created an interactive map that displays a substantial portion of all publicly announced multi-stakeholder projects and grant-funded mobility testing in the Ann Arbor region between 2017 and 2021.

What makes Ann Arbor a hotbed for innovation?

The key to Ann Arbor’s success as a hub of innovation is access to three critical resources: research, access to testing, and real-world deployment.

  1. The city is home to the University of Michigan which in 2020 invested more than $1.62 billion in research, making it the top-ranked public research university in the United States. Additionally, the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) is also located in Ann Arbor conducting its own research and development.
  2. The 230+ mobility companies located here — ranging from two to 2,000 employees — have access to world-class infrastructure and testing sites like The Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test EnvironmentThe American Center for Mobility, and Mcity.
  3. Ann Arbor’s living laboratory provides companies with a platform to form innovative partnerships and deploy their tested technologies to keep improving their offering and serve community needs. 

These three components provide a strong foundation for advanced automotive innovation, including connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

What is the Ann Arbor Region Mobility Deployment and Testing Map?

The map showcases more than 50 projects that include multi-stakeholder deployments or grant-funded testing within the region. It offers a window into the multitude and variety of mobility projects unfolding in the Ann Arbor area in the last five years alone. This robust activity is a testament to the innovative spirit of the companies located here and the level of acceptance and enthusiasm the Ann Arbor community and the public sector has for innovation.

For companies interested in testing or deploying their mobility tech, this map provides an outstanding sample of the types of projects the Ann Arbor region can enhance and facilitate. By filtering the projects into industry categories and project types, companies can learn about similar deployments and read more details about stakeholders and funding models that went into making that deployment a reality.

For example, by selecting the autonomous industry category and zooming into the downtown area, users will see a range of deployments and testing in the AV vehicle and AV delivery segment, plus testing efforts for specific technologies that support AVs.

Another cool tab is the stakeholder headquarter map which shows how many companies from around the nation and around the globe have chosen to deploy or test their technology within the Ann Arbor region.   

Most organizations and citizens are not aware of the number of innovative projects and services that are being developed and are serving our citizens. By shining a light on these projects, we hope more people will utilize these services and talented individuals will choose to work for these local companies. Sponsors and collaborators can also contribute towards existing successful projects to expand their reach or extend their duration.

How can you engage with the map?

The map is available for everyone to view. To recommend additional projects or make changes to existing data, review selection criteria and submit this form.