Taking the stage in front of a packed house at the College of Creative Studies Taubman Center on Feb. 25 during the MICHauto Summit, Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, announced two directives to help strengthen the automotive industry in Michigan. Harnessing the unique attributes and offerings the state of Michigan has, the move will ensure the state remains the top choice for building, testing and deployment of what is driving the future of the industry.
On the hood of an Argo AI self-driving test vehicle, both directive orders were signed, setting precedent for the impact both directives will create not only for the state but also for the future of global mobility. The two directives include:
Executive Directive 2020-1 directs the creation of the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and the designation of a Chief Mobility Officer to head the office. Executive Order 2020-2 creates the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification.
Glenn Stevens, executive Director of MICHauto and vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives for the chamber highlighted the partnership between the initiative and MICHauto over the past year. “Gov. Whitmer and MICHauto are aligned on a vision to shape Michigan’s mobility future,” said Stevens. “MICHauto is honored to be a key partner to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration in executing the executive actions taken today.”
Over the past year there have been 11,000 new automotive jobs created in Michigan, more than any other state. The state also saw investments from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co, all focused on pushing towards electrified versions of their products, creating investments and job opportunities for the overall state and industry. As of December 2019, the state’s PlanetM initiative had funded more than 60 pilot deployments in Michigan from 23 countries.
With deep pools of talent and manufacturing capacity—two of the leading factors in the state’s vital resources—Michigan also leads the nation with a mix of private and public proving grounds, road initiatives, and CAV investments driving electrification, autonomous technology, connectivity, and alternate modes of mobility.
“These executive orders will help us build on the success that we’ve seen in the automotive and mobility sectors this past year,” said Gov. Whitmer. “I’m excited to work with leaders in the Office of Future Mobility to build on the progress we’ve seen in the last year and cement our status as a hub for innovation and opportunity in the automotive sector.”
The Michigan Office of Future Mobility is created to continue positioning Michigan as the go-to-state for the developing, testing, and manufacturing of the future of mobility. This office will serve as a resource to help continue and build public and private partnerships that drive mobility solutions to ensure Michigan is competing on the global scale. The announcement for the mobility officer is in the final processes of being announced within the next few weeks.