Michigan's Mobility Research Cluster

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Michigan's Mobility Research Cluster

The future of the automotive technology in Michigan is bright, and the Ann Arbor region continues to be a driver as we move towards a future of mobility.  Over the past several years, the region has been at the center of the Smart Corridor, involved in a connected vehicle safety pilot, conducted by University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI)  and funded in large part by U.S. Department of Transportation.  The pilot deployed thousands of connected vehicles on the streets of Ann Arbor.  

ACM is located in Washtenaw County, in the heart of Michigan’s automotive research cluster. Several research and development facilities, universities, and testing centers are located in close proximity, making Southeastern Michigan a leading destination for the mobility industry.

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is regarded as one of the top research universities in the world. With nearly 45,000 students and 7,000 academic staff, the University offers a broad range of opportunities in a variety of academic subjects.

University of Michigan North Campus

North Campus is home to many of the University of Michigan’s applied fields (engineering, architecture, music, art, and more) and includes the Transportation Research Institute and M-City. In 2016, US News and World Report ranked the University’s School of Engineering as sixth in the nation.

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute & Mcity

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) is dedicated to research that will increase safety on the roads and further knowledge of transportation. The institute is home to a multimillion-dollar research program with expert faculty and numerous collaborators.  

Mcity is located near UMTRI; the testing center was developed as a collaboration between University researchers and the Michigan Department of Transportation. The 32-acre site was designed to evaluate connected and automated vehicles and systems, with over 16 acres of roads and infrastructure.

Within Mcity, there is TechLab- a place for emerging technology startups to gain direct access to many of the University’s resources and experts. Techlab companies can take advantage of the unique testing environment that Mcity provides and are provided access to cutting-edge technology and expert mentorship. Techlab is helping to pave the way for innovation in the next generation of mobility.

Washtenaw Community College Advanced Transportation Center

Washtenaw Community College offers a number of 2-year degrees in liberal arts and technical fields. Recently, the College opened its Advanced Transportation Center- a facility committed to preparing professionals and skilled laborers for jobs in intelligent transportation, advanced manufacturing, and automotive services.

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is a public university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The University currently serves 23,000 students with 700 academic faculty members. The University is often recognized for the strength of its business and education programs and has a continued focus on the burgeoning Cyber Security industry.


Google’s Ann Arbor offices are home to Google’s sales team, where dedicated staff serve as consultative partners for Adwords clients across North America. Having recently moved from Downtown into its own campus on the North Side of Ann Arbor, Google Ann Arbor continues to grow and increase its capacity.

Ann Arbor SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK is Ann Arbor’s engine for economic development and is dedicated to the economic prosperity of the greater Ann Arbor region. SPARK is committed to providing the skills and knowledge to attract, develop, strengthen, and invest in driving industries that help Southeastern Michigan thrive.


Since its launch in 2008, the SPARK East Business Incubator has become a magnet for innovation-based businesses of every size and description from entrepreneurs and start-ups to mid-sized companies.

EPA National Fuel and Emissions Laboratory

The National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) is the US EPA’s laboratory for measuring emissions from a variety of vehicles and engines. The highly-trained staff at NVFEL provide research and testing to develop emissions standards and ensure compliance with them in order to protect people and the environment from transportation-related pollutants. In order to meet these goals, NVFEL provides the following services:

  • Testing new and used cars, light trucks and heavy-duty engines to ensure they meet emissions standards when they are new and throughout their useful lifetime.
  • Researching and testing to inform new and updated emissions standards for air pollutants.
  • Developing and implementing accurate test methods for measuring emissions from vehicles and engines.
  • Assessing promising emissions reduction  technologies.

Merit Networks

Michigan’s public university’s came together to govern the Merit Networks, a non-profit, member-owned organization committed to education and research. Merit provides high-performance services to the educational communities in Michigan and beyond.

Merit continues to leverage its experience managing NSFNET, the precursor to the modern Internet, to catapult Michigan into the forefront of networking technologies. Merit oversees Michigan’s Cyber Range, where cyber-security professionals engage in comprehensive training.

Center for Automotive Research

The Center for Automotive Research conducts research and analysis to educate, inform and advise stakeholders, policy makers, and the general public on issues facing the automotive industry, and the industry’s impact on the U.S. economy and society.


Pinckney Cyber Security Institute

The Pinckney Cyber Training Institute is the newest addition to the Michigan Cyber Range. This cyber security training hub offers in-depth courses on a variety of topics relevant to cyber security.

I-94/US-23  Connected Corridor

The Michigan Department of Transportation in partnership with General Motors, Ford Motor Co., and a University of Michigan consortium deployed vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technology-enabled corridors on more than 120 miles of Metro Detroit roadway, including stretches of I-696 and I-94.


Michigan’s mobility cluster includes a broad range of companies from early start-ups to the Big Three. The following list of mobility companies provides a glimpse into the thriving industry.

  • Ann Arbor Lab Mitsubishi Motors BitBrew
  • Current Motor Company
  • Denso International America Inc. Doc-Mate, LLC
  • DotSignal
  • Eco-Fueling, Inc.
  • Electro-Mechanical Associates, Inc. Faurecia
  • Ford Labs
  • GanoDrive
  • GeoDigital International Corp. HLX Engines, LLC
  • Honda Ann Arbor
  • Hyundai America Technical Center Karmaba Security
  • Lotus Engineering, Inc
  • Mercedes-Benz Research and Development Midwestern Software Solutions
  • Movatic LLC New Eagle
  • Navya
  • Nostrum Energy, LLC
  • Optimal Process Technologies LLC Pi Innovo LLC
  • RightThereWare, L.L.C. Soar Automotive, Inc. Splitting Fares, Inc.
  • Subaru Research and Development Toyota Research Institute
  • Toyota Technical Center TwoScoreTwo, Inc.
  • Voyomotive

Mobility Assets Near the American Center for Mobility


In the News

AT&T Partnership with American Center for Mobility 

Michigan the first U.S. state with comprehensive laws for self-driving cars

Self-driving 15-passenger shuttle debuts at Mcity for testing, tours

Michigan Strategic Fund approves $2.9M grant

American Center for Mobility forms board of directors, names CEO

Ann Arbor SPARK Awarded a Federal Grant to Develop Connected Vehicle Center Plan for Willow Run Site

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