With investors, partners, higher education leaders and government officials flanking both sides of the stage, the American Center for Mobility (ACM) announced a $2 million sponsorship from Subaru of America during a press conference at AutoMobili-D during the 2018 North American International Auto Show on Tuesday.
The announcement was made by ACM President and CEO John Maddox and comes on the heels of the ACM test track opening in December.
“It has been a phenomenal year of progress,” Maddox said. “A year ago, we were just getting started -- 2017 was a very busy year for strategy, design, construction and working intently with our partners. I’m proud to say that we hit our target and many of our partners are testing their products at the American Center for Mobility.”
Maddox said the ACM is on the leading edge of autonomous vehicle development and deployment.
Gov. Rick Snyder, who was on-hand for the announcement, said the investment from Subaru is another milestone for the testing facility and the automotive industry in Michigan, which just a few years ago was struggling amid a downturn economy.
Since then, Snyder said the state has taken proactive steps to remain a leader in mobility development – from passing regulations for autonomous vehicle testing on state roads, to embracing public and private collaboration to solve key issues to efficiently move people and goods, and working with universities to attract the best and brightest talent to Michigan.
“We are at the center of the future of the automotive industry with the convergence of automotive and information technology and we’ve learned from our past mistakes that we need to be more proactive and more forward thinking and more advanced in terms of how we approach this challenge … that’s what you are seeing at ACM,” Snyder said.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said the ACM is the place where autonomous and connected vehicle testing standards are being set.
“We’re so proud of being part of driving this journey because we understand the profound impact that this new technology will have on people’s lives – to make us safer and more efficient,” Calley said. “Autonomous vehicles open up a whole new world of opportunity to people who aren’t mobile anymore. The American Center for Mobility is changing everything.”
“The partners that have come together to create this center of gravity around all things that are already happening ensure that the city and state that put the world on wheels will be in front of the innovation and where we all go together tomorrow,” Calley added.
The ACM previously received $110 million in funding from AT&T, Visteon Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Company and Hyundai America Technical Center, along with the state of Michigan.