The Michigan Strategic Fund approved today a $17 million investment for the
finalization of the acquisition of land at Willow Run, operations, and to facilitate
the design and construction of phase one of a state-of-the-art global center
for research, development and testing for automated vehicles.
“Michigan is making a major commitment to the
next chapter of the state’s legendary automotive history,” said Gov. Rick
Snyder. “In the next decade, Michigan will be in the international forefront in
responding to the challenge to reimagine transportation, an unfolding world of
autonomous vehicles that requires collaboration among private industry,
academia and government.”
Located in Ypsilanti Township on 335 acres of
Ford Motor Co.’s former Willow Run bomber factory and General Motor’s
powertrain plant, the site is planned to be developed and operated by the
American Center for Mobility (ACM), a nonprofit entity established in April.
The MSF investment includes design and certain
construction costs and operations that are part of the project’s high speed
track, the first phase of development. The latest funding comes after a $1.2
million purchase agreement was reached on July 5, 2016 between the Willow Run
Arsenal of Democracy Landholdings Limited Partnership and Racer Properties LLC,
wholly owned by the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust
The project is a
multi-layered initiative among the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Department of Transportation,
the MEDC, and many other state and local partners.
“The Michigan economy will be strengthened by
the many businesses attracted to the technological developments at ACM,” said
MEDC CEO Steve Arwood. “The center is a catalyst for economic growth and will
attract a range of engineering talent that will further distinguish Michigan as
the home for automotive innovation.”
On behalf of the
MSF board, MEDC administers
programs and performs due diligence on grants, loans, collateral agreements and
approved funds. The MEDC serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate
for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow
Willow Run was selected to serve as the
location for the advanced research and development facility because of the
broad needs of industry and government to develop connected and automated
technologies. With the ability to test in multiple weather conditions, and room
for growth, the site is considered a cost-effective location.
“The American Center for Mobility is excited to
be working with the state of Michigan and is extremely pleased that this
investment is being made to accelerate the project,” said American Center for
Mobility CEO John Maddox.
In addition to testing and validation of
autonomous vehicles, office and lab space will be available to companies while
they’re testing as well as space for collaboration to accelerate voluntary
The Willow Run site is near Mcity, a
research-focused testing site for connected and automated vehicles. Consisting
of simulated urban and suburban roads and supporting infrastructure, Mcity
covers a 32-acre site on the University of Michigan’s campus in Ann Arbor and
has been in high demand for research projects since opening in July 2015.
More information on the American Center for
Mobility can be found at www.acmwillowrun.org.
To learn more about the future of mobility and why it’s important to Michigan,
visit here: https://youtu.be/EkxOWjyuOZ0.
Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism
initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic
Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead
advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow
For more on the MEDC and its
initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news,
updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested
in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org where more than 101,000
jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.
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