Driving into the future: Michigan’s vision for connected and autonomous mobility

Connected and autonomous mobility really permeates all areas of our department, which is a great thing because, in the past, we’ve often worked in silos. There’s highways, bridges, rail, passenger buses and such; but technology, because it permeates all of those things, has really made us think more system-wide. Technology, in general, has helped us to become one Department of Transportation, all working towards the common goal of moving people.

When it comes specifically to connected and automated vehicles (AVs), there are many areas within MDOT that are working collaboratively, and on their own, on different types of projects. My area, the Office of Passenger Transportation, where we provide funding and technical support for all of the public transit agencies across the state, has become involved with a few different collaborative groups that are working on developing and testing automated vehicles. The Automated Bus Consortium is the one that I’d say brought us together. And then, we are also collaborating with other state departments whose focus is on mobility. But we want to bring more mobility companies, and the private sector, into our state. We’re saying, “Hey, we want better transportation for the citizens in our state, and we want to know how these types of vehicles fit in.”

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