A new report, developed under the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative, analyzes southeast Michigan’s connected and automated vehicle (CAV) environment and explores ways the defense and automotive sectors can achieve greater collaboration in this space.

The report, titled Regional Plan for Connected and Automated Transportation Systems Assets and Initiatives, contains key findings from three parts of the project: a benchmarking exercise that compares southeast Michigan with three other regions on a variety of CAV-related technology topics, maps of regional CAV assets, and a SWOT analysis to provide the region with a strategic, forward-looking plan. The report promotes the following actions:

  • Increasing collaboration;
  • Aligning regional leaders;
  • Improving auto and defense industry collaboration;
  • Increasing networking opportunities;
  • Enhancing the start-up and smaller business ecosystem;
  • Capitalizing on regional geographic assets;
  • Addressing education and workforce;
  • Seeking investment dollars;
  • Marketing the region through collaborative partnerships.

“We sought out opportunities for key players in the region to sustain and grow the area’s robust CAV ecosystem in both industries,” says Valerie Sathe Brugeman, the report’s lead author. Of the many identified collaborative opportunities, one specifically relates to venture capital funds. “Compared to other benchmarked regions, the Detroit area has a high commercialization gap, or difference between research and development investment and venture capital spend. This means the area is ripe for venture capital investment.”

“This report serves as a guide for regional leaders to maintain our leadership position in the connected and automated vehicles industry. Several regions across the country have tried to claim to be the leader in this space” said Tricia Walding, Senior Program Manager of the Workforce Intelligence Network, the organization managing the Department of Defense grant that supported the work. “Southeast Michigan CAV stakeholders can use forward-thinking methods to unite the auto OEM and supplier companies, software companies, economic developers, and education and training institutions to reassert the Motor City’s dominance in this sector.”

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC), through funding from a Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment Defense Industry Adjustment Grant, contracted with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) to develop this report. To view the full report, please visit: www.cargroup.org/publications.

About Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC) is a group of organizations that provides immediate and sustained assistance to firms and workers in a 13-county region in Southeast Michigan affected by reduced Department of Defense procurement. The group coordinates assistance to organizations that promote research, industrial development, and talent development relevant to the defense industry. Efforts support resiliency and capacity in autonomous transportation and connected mobility, lightweight materials manufacturing sector, and information technology, with a focus on increasing security of automated transportation systems and products. The core coalition of partners includes the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board, Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan, Michigan Defense Center-an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Merit Network, and Macomb County Office of Economic Development and Planning. For more information, visit: www.advancemimanufacturing.com. 

About the Center for Automotive Research

The Center for Automotive Research is a non-profit organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its mission is to conduct research on significant issues related to the future direction of the global automotive industry, organize and conduct forums of value to the automotive community and foster industry relationships. For more information, visit the CAR website: www.cargroup.org.

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