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Michigan’s Mobility Leadership on Display at ITS World Congress

MICHauto, along with several key public and private partners from the state, attended the 2015 Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Bordeaux, France in October to drive home the message that Michigan remains the global epicenter of automotive industry, and is leading in the testing and development of connected and automated vehicles.

More than 10,000 international ITS experts, public and private sector leaders, researchers, engineers and students attended the weeklong event.

ITS1MICHauto’s Glenn Stevens, Oakland County Executive Matthew Gibb, and Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle, in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center, carried the flag for the state of Michigan throughout the week, staffing a Pure Michigan booth and coordinating over 20 business attraction meetings with OEMs and suppliers interested in learning about Michigan’s next-generation mobility leadership.

As a result of the one-on-one meetings, Stevens said numerous technology-related transportation companies have already reached out to MICHauto to learn more about how they can capitalize on the mobility community in Southeast Michigan and have a presence in the region.

“Our goal was to position Michigan as the center for automotive and connected and autonomous vehicles. Because that leadership was recognized by companies in attendance at ITS, we were also able to tie the trip into a tactical business attraction opportunity for the region and state,” Stevens said.

Michigan was the only state in the country with such a large representation in Bordeaux, Stevens said. Throughout the week, MICHauto distributed copies of its Michigan Mobility Map, which it developed in collaboration with key partners of the Michigan Mobility Initiative. First announced at the 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference, the Michigan Mobility Initiative strengthens, protects and promotes the state’s global leadership in next-generation mobility development.

The World Congress also offered the Michigan delegation the opportunity to learn about and experience new technology from around the world. Nearly 400 international companies exhibited at ITS.

Gibb said attending ITS was an impactful experience and a great way to build on the collaborative synergy between Oakland County, MICHauto and state and regional economic development partners.

“The ITS World Congress affirmed that our region is leading the world in research and advanced connected technologies, but it also served as a reminder that that same world is fast approaching in our rearview mirror. Working with MICHauto to build investment in this most important of sectors reflects the positive that comes from collaboration,” he said.

“The entire state must focus and acknowledge that the race for talent, economy and sustainability is rooted squarely in the advancement of connected intelligent technologies, most significantly automotive. We must be finding the companies that are creating this new world and make sure they’re here,” Gibb added.

The 2016 World Congress will be held in Melbourne, Australia.

For more information on MICHauto, contact Glenn Stevens at gstevens@detroitchamber.com.