Michigan politicians announced a $7.5 million federal grant toward the state’s mobility sector on Thursday. The grant will fund research, development and testing of self-driving technologies. 

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Ann Arbor, procured the grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The research and development will take place at the University’s Mcity autonomous vehicle testing site, the American Center for Mobility and in the city of Detroit.

According to Peters’ press release, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the grant will help Michigan remain a global leader in developing self-driving technologies. 

“This investment will help keep Michigan at the forefront of mobility, and ensure our state remains the global leader in developing self-driving innovations and building the vehicles of the future,” Peters said. 

The Michigan Mobility Collaborative, an umbrella group of stakeholders in the state’s mobility industry, applied for the grant with the support of Stabenow, Peters and Dingell, along with other members of the Michigan congressional delegation.

The Collaborative includes the American Center for Mobility, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute and Mcity, Wayne State University, Deloitte and Ford Motor Company’s “City: One” program. 

Dingell said in her press release that the grant proved a success because of the communication between major stakeholders under the Collaborative. 

“Self-driving cars are the future of the auto industry, and they represent an opportunity to improve and diversify our economy here in Michigan, while also improving safety,” Dingell said. “This grant was a success because major stakeholders partnered together under the umbrella of the Michigan Mobility Collaborative to demonstrate our ability to work together in developing these technologies responsibly and proving they are safe.”

According to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s press release, the federal grant will help Michigan’s auto industry stay competitive. 

“Michigan is the state that put the world on wheels, and if we’re going to help our auto industry compete, we must work to ensure we can develop, test and deploy autonomous vehicles right here at home,” Whitmer said. “This funding will help us do just that and solidify Michigan as a world leader in mobility.”

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