LANSING, MI (WLNS) – During the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Policy Conference on Mackinac Island Wednesday, Governor Snyder launched the “Planet M” campaign.
With Planet M, Governor Snyder is aiming to push Michigan as the hub of transportation innovations, leading to more business and jobs in the state.
Planet M designates two autonomous vehicle testing sites in Michigan. These sites include Mcity in Ann Arbor and the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run in Ypsilanti.
“Connected and autonomous vehicle technology holds promise as another major disruptive innovation, and Planet M ties it all together,” said Kirk T. Steudle, director, Michigan Department of Transportation.
Researchers believe that by 2040 two out of three people will live in urban environments, states a news release provided to 6 News from Governor Snyder’s administration.
With this research, leaders in Michigan want to keep up with how people are living and traveling.
“Planet M represents Michigan’s future as a leader in mobility and the innovations that will continue to attract investment in our state,” Snyder said. “Michigan has always been the automotive industry leader, and as the transportation industry evolves, our state’s influence will continue to shape the way the world moves.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation says there are a number of factors that will support Planet M, including seven car companies with a presence in Michigan. Those car companies are Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Toyota.
Michigan residents know the weather can change at the drop of a hat, but the MEDC says this is crucial for testing autonomous cars.
Students who are in automotive technology and design classes at participating schools may get the chance to participate in the Planet M campaign.
“When I’m in Washington, I always remind people that Michigan is not just smokestacks and manufacturing, it is a high tech state and a leader in new automotive technology,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D), Michigan. “Taking advantage of these automotive innovations will require collaboration between local, state and federal government, the auto industry, the technology sector and academia to ensure that Michigan is at the forefront of the future of mobility. The launch of the Planet M brand will show America and the rest of the world that Michigan is the leader in 21st century transportation.”
A website with more information on Planet M is scheduled to launch on June 12 at http://www.planetm.com.