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Mackinac conference: Leading the mobility industry

Planet M encouarges mobility technology industry growth in Michigan

Wood TV 

By Rick Albin 

June 2, 2016

Some people think of autonomous vehicles as driverless cars, but they’re really more vehicles that can communicate car-to-car or even with the road.

At the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island on Wednesday, Gov. Rick Snyder and bipartisan partners announced Planet M, a state initiative encourage growth of the mobility industry that includes building a new research and development facility for autonomous vehicles.

Snyder said he wants Michigan to be on the forefront of that technology.

“It’s a big initiative to say let’s lead the advent of the mobility industry. We are going to transition from the automotive industry to the mobility industry,” he told 24 Hour News 8.

The mobility industry is about finding the next technology that will make cars interactive and safer.

U. S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said the advanced technology is only possible, but also necessary. He said it also has some very practical applications.

“Probably the best example would be on a bridge. If the bridge is icing over and there’s black ice, the bridge will know that and will communicate and your car will already start breaking because it’s being told by the road that there’s ice and this is a hazard,” he explained.

When it comes to financing the American Center for Mobility — a sort of industry laboratory at the old Willow Run Airport near Ypsilanti — the governor said that the state’s portion is pretty much in place. There will be more money to come from manufacturers and other interested parties involved.

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