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Planet M


Planet M is the epicenter for mobility. Michigan has always been the leader of the automotive industry, and as vehicle and transportation technologies continue to evolve in amazing ways, Michigan is continuing to lead the way. The entire state, and the auto industry, are transforming into the global center for mobility.

VIDEO: Welcome to Planet M | MEDC

What is Planet M?

Planet M represents the collective mobility efforts across the state of Michigan around the technologies and services that enable people and goods to move around.

Working in partnership with automobile manufacturers and suppliers, universities, local agencies and a number of others in the public and private sectors, MDOT has set a vision for a connected vehicle environment encompassing a large segment of southeast Michigan, centered along the freeway and surrounding arterial network in the metropolitan Detroit area. This corridor goes through the heart of Michigan's automotive and technology development area, and links to several other connected vehicle Pilot deployments, including the USDOT's test bed in Oakland County, a deployment in the City of Detroit, and the Safety Pilot Model Deployment/Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment in Ann Arbor. The connected vehicle environment is envisioned to encompass the four basic foundations of any connected vehicle system; supporting infrastructure, equipped vehicles and/or motorists, data and applications, and the communications network needed to support the system.

MDOT's connected vehicle vision over many years of sustained investment encompasses communities outside of the metropolitan Detroit area, resulting in "connected regions", and a "connected state". This vision is shared at both regional and national levels which is demonstrated through continued support and partnership with the USDOT and partner states in the AASHTO and the V2I Coalition.

What is the future of transportation mobility technologies at Planet M?

For connected and autonomous vehicles to be successful, they will need to communicate not only with other vehicles on the road, but also with infrastructure, pedestrians, bicyclists, trains. Michigan's test facilities aren't just open pavement—they're packed with smart infrastructure for this very reason.

More than half the world's population lives in towns and cities. By 2040, two in three people are expected to live in urban environments. We are changing the way we live, travel and use services. We're transitioning from an ownership-centric society to one of a sharing—rides, offices, homes. Michigan is leading these technology s, and the intelligent vehicles and infrastructure in a connected environment are just the start. The Planet M partnerships demonstrate that Michigan as the place for mobility ideas, advancements and development. Michigan's strengths include the existing alignment and synergies across the many stakeholder groups represented by Planet M (e.g., public sector, private sector, non-government organizations, and academic).

Why Michigan?

  • Michigan is home to the largest concentration of engineers in the nation.
  • Auto manufacturers and suppliers are either based here or have a major presence here.
    • Seven global or North American research and development (R&D) headquarters are based in Michigan (Ford, GM, FCA, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Toyota)
    • Eight original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have research and development facilities in Michigan (Daimler, Honda, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Suzuki and Volkswagen)
  • Michigan is home to the largest deployment of V2I technology in the United States: 120 miles on I-69, called the Smart Corridor.
  • Michigan is home to an all-weather environment, which is critical in testing autonomous technologies.
  • Michigan leads the nation in patents relating to navigation and smart mobility.
  • Michigan schools have specialized programs to focus on automotive technology and design, such as the K-12 program Square One, community college programs like Washtenaw Community College and university programs at schools like The University of Michigan and Wayne State.
  • By 2017, Michigan will be home to two permanent and purpose-built autonomous vehicle testing sites. Nowhere else in the U.S. has resources like these facilities.
    • Mcity, a 32-acre connected and autonomous vehicle testing site that opened in 2015, simulates urban and suburban environments and is in high demand.
    • The American Center for Mobility, a 335-acre site providing additional testing and validation resources for the industry, including higher speeds and interaction with rail and flight.


Contact a Michigan Business Specialist