Members Supported Grant Application; Investments Will Support Self-Driving Mobility Research and Development

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI) and
Debbie Stabenow (MI) and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today
announced a $7.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of
Transportation for partnership between the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan,
the University of Michigan, and the American Center for Mobility (ACM). The
funding will go towards the research, development and testing of self-driving
technologies in both the world-class facilities at the University of Michigan’s
Mcity, ACM and in the City of Detroit.

“I was proud to help secure this federal grant that will support the groundbreaking work and collaboration taking place in Michigan that will transform the way we get around in the future,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “This investment will help keep Michigan at the forefront of mobility, and ensure our state remains the global leader in developing self-driving innovations and building the vehicles of the future.”

“This critical funding from USDOT is further proof that Michigan continues to be the home of the global auto industry and advanced mobility technologies,” said Dingell. “Michigan’s unique automotive and mobility ecosystem is unparalleled and does not exist elsewhere in the country.  Self-driving cars are the future of the auto industry and they represent an opportunity to improve and diversify our economy here in Michigan, while also improving safety.  This grant was a success because major stakeholders partnered together under the umbrella of the Michigan Mobility Collaborative to demonstrate our ability to work with together in developing these technologies responsibly and proving they are safe.  The American Center for Mobility at Willow Run, the City of Detroit, MDOT, MEDC and their partners in industry deserve credit for their hard work that led to this significant award.  I also want to thank my colleagues Senator Peters and Senator Stabenow for being great partners with me during this effort. As we watch the transportation industry and the auto industry transform into the mobility industry, this grant will go a long way towards creating jobs in Michigan and cementing our role as the global center of these revolutionary technologies.”

Peters, Stabenow
and Dingell supported the Michigan Mobility Collaborative’s grant application
along with other members of the Michigan congressional delegation
writing a letter
 to Department
of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The group collaborating in this effort
include: the American Center for Mobility, the Michigan Department of
Transportation; the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids; the
University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute and Mcity; Wayne
State University; Deloitte; and Ford Motor Company’s “City: One” program. The
Michigan Mobility Collaborative will develop a process to evaluate the safety
of automated driving systems from simulation to test tracks to real world
testing on Detroit streets. It will also focus on future services and business
models around autonomous vehicles that improve the quality of life for the
senior population in Detroit and cities across Michigan.

The American Center
for Mobility (ACM) is a smart city test center focused on the advanced and
scientific research, testing, validation and self-certification of connected
and automated vehicles and other mobility technologies at the more than
500-acre historic Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township. Ann Arbor SPARK
promotes ACM as part of its efforts to drive economic prosperity in the region
by attracting global brands and world-class talent here.

“The mobility
industry as a whole is a key area of focus for Ann Arbor SPARK,” said president
and CEO Paul Krutko. “The talent that’s here along with the industry
heavyweights who have long had a presence in our region are incredibly
attractive to businesses that are researching, developing, and manufacturing
the next generation of transportation. 
This investment not only validates the value of the work being done at
ACM, it proves there’s no better place for this work to be done successfully.
When SPARK issued the white paper ‘Ahead by a Century’ in 2012 calling for a
connected and autonomous testing facility of this type in our region and
led the effort to redevelop the Willow Run transmission plant as the site for
ACM, this is just the type of success we envisioned.”

Peters successfully
urged the Department of Transportation under the Obama Administration to
designate ACM as a premiere center for the safe testing, demonstration and
deployment of automated vehicle technology. Peters, Stabenow and Dingell have
worked to raise ACM’s profile as a world-class smart city test center and
pushed for the Department of Transportation and other federal agencies to
recognize the role ACM plays in promoting the collaboration needed to develop
connected and autonomous vehicles, and smart city solutions. Peters, Stabenow
and Dingell worked together to help secure $100 million in funding from
Congress for AV research and development including $60 million for R&D
projects – with $20 million specifically set aside for previously designated
proving grounds including ACM. That funding source made the grant announced
today possible.

The post Peters, Dingell, Stabenow Announce $7.5 Million Federal Grant for Michigan’s Mobility Ecosystem appeared first on Ann Arbor SPARK.

Source: SPARK