Michigan brings automotive collaboration to world stage

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

State of Michigan’s second annual Intelligent Vehicle Testing Symposium

Today, global transportation leaders will convene at the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) World Congress in Copenhagen for the State of Michigan’s second annual Intelligent Vehicle Testing Symposium.

Michigan leaders, including Lt. Governor Brian Calley, Kirk Steudle, Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation and Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will join representatives from the United Kingdom, China and the Netherlands, among others, to discuss the trends happening now, what’s next and what lies beyond in the world’s connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) ecosystem.  

“Intelligent vehicle testing requires a truly global approach to validate technology and ensure safety,” said Steudle, who also helped lead today’s symposium at ITS World Congress. “Michigan embraces collaboration and understands the value of partnerships. We are proud to work alongside the world’s transportation leaders to help bring connected and autonomous vehicles to roadways around the globe.”

As connected and automated vehicle technology grows in awareness, the world of intelligent transit systems continues to be a crucial piece of the mobility revolution. Michigan’s strong presence at ITS World Congress demonstrates its role as a global convener of all of these important aspects. From universities, tier one suppliers, and a burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem, Michigan is an ideal mobility partner in more ways than one.

The symposium is one piece of a growing network of industry partnerships and shared projects spurred by Michigan stakeholders to propel the automotive industry forward and foster international collaboration.

Another example was the release of a case study today by Mcity, in conjunction with the symposium, outlining key learnings from the launch of its driverless shuttle research project, which uses electric shuttle buses manufactured by French firm NAVYA. The study documents Mcity's experience leading up to launch to help guide others considering similar driverless shuttle deployments.  With the shuttle project, Mcity is studying how passengers and other road users react to and interact with driverless shuttles as a way to gauge consumer acceptance of the technology. Mcity is a public-private R&D partnership to advance connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) through academic research, on-road deployments such as the Mcity Driverless Shuttle, and operating the Mcity Test Facility, a closed environment for testing CAVs that simulates urban and suburban settings. 

“Michigan is at the forefront of the mobility revolution, and Mcity is proud to be part of it,” said Mcity Director Huei Peng, lead researcher on the Mcity shuttle project, and the Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering.  “Through our case study, we hope to inspire shuttle pilots around the world to further expand the global mobility ecosystem. This is yet another example of Michigan creating a collaborative approach to intelligent transportation.”

Earlier this week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China to further advance innovation and cooperation within the automotive and technology sectors, including new energy and autonomous vehicle technologies. Governor Snyder has signed more than half a dozen MOUs, forming key international relationships to boost intelligent vehicle testing and development with countries such as Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The MOUs create a foundation the global mobility ecosystem, including the sharing of best practices, accelerating commercialization of emerging technologies and convening stakeholders to discuss common challenges and innovative solutions.

“The state of Michigan understands that we cannot accelerate autonomous vehicle development if we are not reaching out across industry sectors and geographic borders,” Mason said. “We are committed to bringing all of the key stakeholders to the table to fuel the next generation of transportation. Michigan put the world on wheels, and we intend to continue to drive the industry forward into this next age of mobility.”

The symposium can be viewed live on the PlanetM YouTube channel or at PlanetM.com/misymposium following the event. Panels will be as follows:

Current Scene – Active Simulations/Pilots/Collaboration

Moderator: Bram Hendrix, Manager, Smart Mobility, Automotive NL, Netherlands


  • Håkan Andersson, Proving Ground Manager, AstaZero, Sweden
  • Mark Chaput, VP of Facility Operations and Construction, American Center for Mobility, Michigan, USA
  • Yun Seog Hong, Head of Automated Vehicle Division, Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute (KATRI), Korea
  • Daniel Ruiz, Chief Executive, Meridian Mobility, UK

Industry Insights – Tech Challenges and Opportunities in the Next Decade                                                                                                       

Moderator: Eric Shreffler, Managing Director, Automotive Office, Michigan Economic Development Corporation


  • Frank Fickel, IAV, Germany
  • Ben Foulser, Transportation Technology Team Lead, KPMG, London, UK
  • Gwen van Vugt, Director, Mobility Center, TASS International, Netherlands

The Future of Global Intelligent Vehicle Testing and Deployment

Moderator: Neil Fulton, Program Director, Transportation Systems Catapult, UK 


  • Ken Leonard, Director, USDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, USA
  • Huei Peng, Director, Mcity, USA
  • Real “Ray” Tanguay, Former Chair and President of Toyota Manufacturing Inc, Canada

Peter Sweatman, Principle, CAVita LLC – USA and International Enterprise Professor, University of Melbourne Department of Infrastructure – Australia

About PlanetM
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. To learn more about Michigan’s leadership in the revolution in transportation, visit PlanetM.com.  Michigan has a unique and vast ecosystem that is leading the way in transforming the way people and goods are transported across all modes of transportation.  Join the conversation on: LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube

About MCity 
At Mcity, the University of Michigan (U-M) brings together partners from industry, government, and academia to develop the foundation for an ecosystem of connected and automated vehicles for moving people and goods. Such a system has the potential to dramatically improve safety, sustainability, and accessibility. U-M created Mcity to cultivate the diverse expertise and resources required to realize the potential of emerging mobility technologies, culminating in the implementation of a working system of connected and automated vehicles in Ann Arbor by 2021. Visit mcity.umich.edu  to learn more. 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.