November 22, 2019 10:00 AM, EST

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Announces Partnership With Mobileye

WhitmerWhitmer via Al Goldis/Associated Press

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced a partnership with the autonomous vehicle technology company Mobileye to create a pilot program focused on advanced driving systems.

Whitmer announced the partnership Nov. 21 while on a trip to Israel to build business ties. Mobileye, an Israeli subsidiary of Intel Corp., specializes in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) software.

They include technologies that can help improve driver safety, such as automatic emergency brakes and lane-departure warning systems.

“This program will demonstrate the potential of driving assistance technology to save lives, reduce collision-related costs and help diminish traffic congestion,” Whitmer said. “Our work with Mobileye highlights the number of contributions Michigan brings to the world of mobility and will help us advance technology and improve the quality of life for countless people.”

The partnership specifically will involve installing ADAS equipment on up to 100 of the state’s fleet vehicles to help collect data that may be useful to improve safety and efficiency.

Tiffany Brown, the governor’s press secretary, said fleet vehicles are any vehicles owned by the state, including plows, traditional cars and Michigan State Police vehicles. The pilot program is expected to encompass several Michigan counties as well as transit and police agencies.

The partnership will include the Michigan Department of Transportation and PlanetM, the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s mobility initiative.

Mcity test facility

Mcity test facility by University of Michigan

Michigan is a leader in transportation-related technology. The state is home to MCity, an autonomous-vehicle research center at the University of Michigan, as well as the American Center for Mobility, a nonprofit facility dedicated to testing and developing autonomous technology.

“We have an opportunity and a responsibility to advance our state’s technology and automotive landscape in a way that also improves the quality of life for countless individuals in Michigan,” Brown said.

Another goal of the program is to demonstrate the potential of the systems to reduce collisions. Although the partnership will involve outfitting fleet vehicles with ADAS equipment, Brown said the implications apply more broadly to other vehicles on the road.

“The intent is to utilize fleet vehicles to pilot the technology to explore and highlight the potential benefits for all vehicles,” Brown said.

The program is scheduled to run for six months so that the ADAS technology can be used during Michigan’s winter road conditions. Brown said winter in Michigan offers opportunities for some challenging driving conditions, such as extreme temperatures and impaired visibility. Whitmer’s trip to Israel is hosted by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit in coordination with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator.

Michigan has a burgeoning business relationship with Israel. In June, PlanetM announced a partnership with the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator and the Israel Innovation Authority to launch the Israel Michigan Autonomous Technologies Collaboration. The program aims to provide Israeli companies with grant funding and access to Michigan’s resources to develop mobility solutions.

“Ultimately, the goal is to improve both the safety and quality of life through greater access to transportation for citizens across the state while also building on and evolving our rich automotive heritage,” Brown said.

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing: