Shaping the transportation frontier

Besides being home to the most auto manufacturers and suppliers, and being one of only a few states with legislation permitting driverless-car testing and deployment on public roads, Michigan also has the most connected- and autonomous-vehicle testing facilities. 

“We’ve established ourselves as really allowing and fostering the development of this technology in the state,” said Collin Castle, Intelligent Transportation Systems program manager at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). 

Already, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Warren, Mich., completed its second phase of autonomous-vehicle testing on a Southeast Michigan road. And auto suppliers Continental AG and Magna partnered in 2017 to test connected- and automated-vehicle technology on a 300-mile drive that culminated in border crossings between Michigan and Canada.

“There is so much infrastructure here in terms of the supplier base to support vehicle engineering and development, including the universities and the entire eco-system that supports the auto industry,” said Chris Hennessy, vice president of power train engineering at IAV Automotive Engineering Services. 

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