Special Coverage

Management Briefing Seminars

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Manufacturing jobs are swiftly disappearing in Michigan, but the state is hoping to get in on the ground floor of another aspect of the automotive industry that appears poised to take off: vehicle connectivity.

The wireless communication technologies associated with vehicle connectivity are designed eventually to allow vehicles to talk to one another and the highway’s surrounding infrastructure.

Originally conceived to allow for such things as automatic toll paying, wireless vehicle connectivity now is expected to enable a plethora of new capabilities that can improve safety and help diagnose problems on the go.

Steve Underwood, director-Transportation and Information Systems Program at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), is expected to formally announce the new Connected Vehicle Proving Center in Ann Arbor, MI, during Tuesday afternoon’s session at the Management Briefing Seminars here, entitled “Cooperating on the Connected Vehicle and Digital Highway.”

Set to open in October, the center will provide an environment in which to develop, test and showcase emerging wireless, safety and mobility technologies.

CAR and the Connected Vehicle Trade Assn. (CVTA) will oversee the center.

The Connected Vehicle Proving Center is being made possible by a $3.1 million grant from the state of Michigan. With the support of both the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Michigan Dept. of Transportation, the center will research connected vehicles, smart roadway infrastructure and a range of telecommunications technologies.

The $3.1 million grant is part of a $6.9 million effort to develop the Connected Vehicle Proving Center.

The effort includes CAR, CVTA, universities, government agencies and automotive suppliers. The remaining $3.8 million is represented primarily by in-kind contributions from these organizations, including computers, software and technological resources.

dwinter@wardsauto.com