On October 29, Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited the American Center for Mobility (ACM) to learn how Michigan and the mobility industry leverage this premier smart city test center for the acceleration of mobility technologies through testing, standards, and educational activities.
Governor Whitmer was welcomed by the ACM executive team including CEO Michael Noblett who provided an overview of the past, present, and future growth of the non-profit organization. Dawn Thompson, director of strategy and programs, then gave a brief overview of ACM’s mobility education programs in development.
Ford Motor Company’s autonomous vehicle team demonstrated how they gain value from their access to the ACM test center. Ford showcased several concept vehicles in their on-site vehicle laboratories, exemplifying how their work at ACM impacts the work they do globally to advance Ford’s connected and autonomous vehicle deployment.
Wrapping up the Governor’s visit, Jeff Rupp, ACM’s senior research director, guided the Governor and honored guests on a tour of the ACM’s 500-acre test center with more than five miles of road systems outfitted with an intelligent transportation system. On the tour they witnessed dynamic demonstrations of active safety technologies where a vehicle safely impacts a soft vehicle target, and also demonstrations with traffic signals showcasing how in-vehicle technologies help capture DSCRC data by engineers. Honored guests included Jeff Mason, Michigan Economic Development Corporation chief executive; Paul Ajegba, director of Michigan DOT; Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK; and Trevor Pawl and Sarah Tennant representing MEDC new mobility and cybersecurity initiatives.
Ann Arbor SPARK actively promotes ACM as a destination for mobility companies who need to test and validate emerging connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. SPARK’s work for ACM is aimed at attracting mobility companies to the region and support the growth of companies in the region who are innovating in the mobility space. SPARK’s Krutko also serves on ACM’s board of directors, as its treasurer.
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