Print Friendly and PDF

Committed to Michigan’s Lead in Mobility

By Melanie Barnett

While the global competition to be the mobility capital of the world heats up, MICHauto is securing Michigan’s lead by advancing policy that will help Michigan remain competitive globally. This represents an enormous opportunity for the state, while also posing an increasing economic threat if we do not act and lead. For this reason, MICHauto, an economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, remains focused on promoting, retaining, and growing the state’s hold on the industry. While the global competition to be the mobility capital of the world heats up, MICHauto is securing Michigan’s lead by advancing policy that will help Michigan remain competitive globally.

Moving the Industry by Focusing on Policy

At the 2020 MICHauto Summit, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer actualized significant steps to secure Michigan’s leadership in the future of the industry, signing two executive measures to create the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification. MICHauto played a key role in working with her administration, amplifying its advocacy efforts to bridge the gap between policy and industry focus such as competitive testing and R&D for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV).

Last year, MICHauto invested in a full-time advocacy staff member to focus on keeping Michigan the most competitive state for CAV legislation. Additionally, in this growing technological world, passing hands-free driving legislation is also a top priority for MICHauto in partnership with The Kiefer Foundation and it’s mission to end distracted driving and all associated traffic deaths and injuries.

The Michigan Legislative Automotive Caucus, a bipartisan group of state senators and representatives has been a key partner to MICHauto in these efforts. The co-chairs for the 2019-20 legislative session – Rep. Jim Lilly (R-Park Twp), Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), and Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) – regularly convene with MICHauto stakeholders to discuss automotive and mobility industry issues and opportunities.

MICHauto Executive Director Glenn Stevens Jr. recently joined Sen. McMorrow and automotive leaders for a roundtable to provide awareness on the future of the electric vehicle (EV) industry, what policies are needed to support EV infrastructure and how Michigan can support the advancement of the EV industry.

“Michigan built the American automotive industry, but it’s an industry that’s changing more rapidly now than any other time before,” said Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) in a press release following the roundtable. “No other state has the history, talent and capability to design and build the next generation of electric vehicles, but we need to have the infrastructure in place to support that development. It’s critical that the legislature and the Governor work together to move forward on positioning Michigan to be a leader in the future of this industry.”

These efforts combined with an increased focus on building a highly skilled talent pipeline and robust mobility ecosystem –of automotive stakeholders, startups, university partners, testing grounds, suppliers, technology partners– will secure Michigan’s leadership in the global mobility revolution.

Melanie Barnett is the editor of Detroiter magazine.