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As New Technology Emerges, Michigan Can Lead Automotive Revolution

As new technology comes to market, Michigan must not take anything for granted to lead in the race for the connected and autonomous vehicle.

“Technology can transform the auto industry and save thousands of lives,” said Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto.  “The opportunities are endless.”

Stevens led a panel of automotive experts on a discussion focused on connectivity and opportunity during Automobili-D at the North American International Auto Show on Wednesday. Panelists shared their own predictions of the future.

“It’s not only about bringing technology inside the car, but it’s also about connecting that technology to the world around you – using all the data points already collected to work together,” said Peter Brown, chief automotive architect for Wind River.

“Imagine getting in your car and not only having the latest technology to get you from point A to point B, with the quickest and easiest route, but using all the data points to have your parking spot available and already paid for before you get there – in one step,” Brown added.

Panelists agreed that future opportunities will come in four waves: the car, the driver, the road and the city. How can technology be used to make the quality of the car better, increase the convenience of the driver, make the roads safer and help the city with its overall efficiency?

“How we connect the sources of data and how and when to use them is both the opportunity and the challenge,” said Andrew Hart, director of automotive consultancy firm SBD.

Other challenges discussed were concerns about privacy and security. With car-sharing and ride-sharing options becoming more prevalent, cities such as Detroit will also have to consider the challenges of losing revenue in parking fees, traffic tickets and even the decline of car and health insurance costs.

“Developing the technology is indeed an opportunity, but connecting it to the rest of the world takes it to the next level,” Brown said.