This mobility newsletter was originally published on April 6, 2018.
The American Center for Mobility’s AV Track is Now Open
On April 4, the American Center for Mobility (ACM) opened its autonomous vehicle test driving track at the Willow Run site in Ypsilanti. The location at was previously home to a General Motors vehicle assembly plant, a Kaiser-Frazer vehicle manufacturing plant, and a Ford Motor Company plant for B-24 bombers in World War II.
ACM works with organizations in a variety of industries including AT&T, Visteon Corporation, Toyota, Ford and Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. The Center’s sponsors include Subaru of America, Inc., and Adient.
The Center’s CEO, John Maddox, announced that Microsoft would also be partnering with ACM, providing cloud and data management services for ACM.
“We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft in our efforts to lead the world in the safe development of CAV [connected and autonomous vehicles] technologies and to enable the safe deployment of these vehicles onto the nation’s roads,” Maddox said. “By adding Big-Data to our diverse and growing group of stakeholders and world-class partners, ACM is staking its claim as the preeminent global hub for mobility companies to develop and test their connected technologies and vehicles in a safe and controlled environment.”
The event was attended by state and national leaders, including U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell and Governor Rick Snyder, both of whom pointed to a recent fatal crash in Arizona as evidence that this testing facility is necessary for the future of AVs.
Watch a video of the grand opening here.
Report: Michigan Needs to Prepare for Advanced Mobility
On April 3, the Michigan Council on Future Mobility presented its second annual report to Governor Rick Snyder.
- Michigan needs to adopt policies to promote the responsible development of technologies related to advanced mobility, rather than implementing unnecessary regulations that hinder innovation.
- Michigan should advise the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of its perspective on advanced mobility to inform national regulations.
- Michigan’s policies should focus on safety, connectivity, environmental sustainability, advanced energy resources, and enhanced mobility for Michigan residents.
- Michigan should be the “hub” for autonomous and connected vehicle cybersecurity research and development.
- Michigan needs to promote standards for local communities to create functional environments for AVs.
“I have been travelling nationally and internationally to promote Michigan as a leader in automotive design and manufacturing with the technical expertise to usher in the next era of transportation,” Snyder said. “These public policy recommendations provide a rigorous framework and practical methods to address the many forms of mobility that are rapidly becoming a reality. Many of the issues contained in the report are the same as those that come up in discussions when I travel to promote Michigan as the mobility capital of the world, and this input helps to answer those questions and show that we are staying at the forefront of all things mobility.”
- The Michigan Public Service Commission issued its second EV Order, summarizing its technical conference and leaving the docket open for comments.
- Michigan EIBC hosted its second EV Convening on customer awareness and education. The next convening on June 14 will focus on charging and will feature a presentation by Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
- In a victory for automakers, the EPA will ease fuel efficiency regulations for cars and light trucks. However, a top executive for Honda has said the plan is not “sensible.”
- The new U.S. tariff plan includes batteries from China, but the plan only includes batteries for power tools, so it is not expected to impact EVs.
Across the Country
- According to the Smart Electric Power Alliance, most utilities are in the early stages of preparing for EV demand.
- According to The Detroit News, automakers’ EV development is outpacing current market demand for EVs.
- EV manufacturers are using steel instead of aluminum to cut costs.
- Changing corridors will make EV ownership more viable in out West.
- Regional networks of Western and Northeastern states are expanding partnerships to boost EV awareness and adoption.
- A new report finds that EV chargers could add 1 GW of peak demand to California’s grid by 2025.
- Colorado plans to spend over $10 million on EV infrastructure as part of its share of the Volkswagen emissions settlement.
- A Colorado researcher is developing technology that would allow EVs to charge wirelessly.
- Hawaiian Electric’s new “electrification of transportation” roadmap predicts that most of the state’s personal vehicles will be powered by clean energy by 2045.
- Maryland utilities are proposing spending $104 million to support the construction of a statewide network of charging stations.
- New Jersey will join an eight-state initiative to increase the sale of zero-emissions vehicles.
- A Washington state sales tax exemption for new EVs is expected to end this summer.
- Daimler and BMW will merge their ride-hailing and car-sharing units.
- Daimler and Google are teaming up to develop quantum computers for automotive applications.
- Waymo will buy up to 20,000 Jaguar Land Rover EVs, a deal worth up to $1 billion, in an effort to ramp up its autonomous ride service efforts over the next two years.
- Alibaba and Ford opened a car vending machine in China for customers to test drive Ford vehicles.
- Ford is teaming up with India’s Mahindra & Mahindra to develop an EV.
- In first three months of 2018, more Tesla Model 3s were sold than any other EV.
- Tesla’s new program will train EV technicians.
- Tesla recalls 123,000 Model S sedans to fix a bolt designed to assist with power steering, following a fatal crash last week.
- Tesla’s shareholders approved a $2.6 billion compensation package for CEO Elon Musk.
- SF Motors unveiled two new EVs at a launch event in Silicon Valley, one of which could be available as soon as 2019.
- Nvidia used virtual reality to drive a real car.
Events to Watch:
EUCI invites you to the 2018 New York REV Summit, May 1-2 in Brooklyn, New York. Register here.
On July 17-19, PlugVolt will be hosting its next Battery Seminar in Plymouth, Michigan (USA), featuring an entire day of in-depth training by EnerDelon Lithium Ion technology, alongside complementary industry updates by automotive and grid storage OEMs, global battery manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers. Attendees also get a tour of Intertek’s Battery Testing Center. Register here.