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Ann Arbor Spark

August 13, 2015

Is Michigan the Future of Mobility?

There’s no denying Michigan’s automotive heritage, and its potential to propel the future of high tech cars. The concentration of software and engineering talent in the Ann Arbor region make it the ideal location for the connected vehicle industry to flourish. Michigan is getting a lot of well-deserved press and attention, around the future of transportation, or “mobility”.  Especially with the recent opening of Mcity, which is a new 32-acre testing facility at the University of Michigan.  Michigan is ideal for testing because it’s possible to test several different weather scenarios, rain, snow, ice etc.  The convergence of automotive engineering and technology are creating opportunities to improve traffic flow, safety and convenience for drivers.  The focus is for vehicles to become more automated and connected via different levels of communication (vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure and vehicle to environment).  Some of this has been deployed but most of the technology is being tested right now, here in Michigan.

Michigan is the place-  Building on an unrivaled automotive legacy, Michigan remains at the forefront of innovation and research and development, and is leading the global development of connected vehicle technology. It’s the place to be to engage in intelligent mobility.

  • 76% of the auto research and development happens in Michigan
  • Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors are headquartered in Michigan
  • Of the top suppliers in the world, 63 are headquartered in Michigan
  • Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Lotus and Subaru all have Research and Development Operations in the Ann Arbor Region
  • Over 100 automotive firms with over 8,200 employees are located in the Ann Arbor Region

mechanical engineerMichigan’s Talented Workforce- What makes Michigan’s workforce valuable to this industry is the convergence of information technology and automotive engineering programs being offered at world-class universities.  Michigan ranks high in several categories of talent:

  • #1 in employment of industrial engineers
  • #1 in employment of mechanical engineers
  • Top 5 for employment materials engineers
  • Top 10 for employment for electro mechanical technicians
  • #11 for employment of electrical engineers

At the heart of Michigan’s Smart Corridor-  The existing mobility cluster is the number one reason why Michigan is the preferred place for connected vehicle technology.

Michigan is taking center stage in the automotive industry’s high tech transformation as vehicles move forward towards a safer, more efficient, greener future.