University of Michigan's Mcity gets $11 million in second round industry funding

Autonomous vehicle research facility helped put Ann Arbor on national tech map

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

(Photo: Mcity)

ANN ARBOR - Eleven companies are investing a total of $11 million in University of Michigan's autonomous vehicle testing and research facility, Mcity, in the second phase of industry funding.

Mcity is an early-stage research and development initiative supported by both public and private organizations and corporations, and is a leading facility in automated mobility.

The companies investing in this round as members of Mcity's Leadership Circle include:
•    Delphi Automotive PLC
•    DENSO Corp.
•    Econolite Group, Inc.
•    Ford Motor Co.
•    General Motors Co.
•    Honda Motor Co.
•    Intel Corp.
•    LG
•    State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
•    Toyota Motor Corp.
•    Verizon Communications Inc.

Over a span of three years, the companies are each committing $1 million to support Mcity and its programs. In the coming months, the center expects to expand its Leadership Circle even further.

Students test autonomous driving technology (Photo: Mcity)

"Launching Mcity was in itself a grand experiment," Huei Peng, Mcity director and the Roger L. McCarthy professor of Mechanical Engineering, said. "The experiment has proven to be a very successful model where these companies have been able to work collaboratively and productively to explore questions about connected and automated vehicles that no single company or industry can address alone."

Mcity's press release reads:

"The new funding comes as Mcity has established itself as a leading voice in connected and automated mobility. Bringing together industry, government and academia, Mcity is the only advanced mobility R&D center that combines early-stage research; testing in the state-of-the-art, real-world environment of the Mcity Test Facility; and on-road vehicle deployments to further prove new technologies."

"Mcity has quickly risen to be one of Michigan's strongest assets and a national leader in autonomous vehicle research and development," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said. "The state of Michigan clearly sees the value in having the facility and research in our mobility ecosystem, but the private sector is continuing to show support and interest in the advancements that come from the facility, as well. I congratulate Mcity on their continued partnerships and outstanding success."

Leadership Circle members hold a meeting (Photo: Mcity)

By 2020, Mcity and the U-M Transportation Research Institute are projected to exceed $100 million in funding from the University of Michigan, industry and government leaders. To date, Mcity has invested approximately $20 million in 40 research projects.

"The breadth and depth of membership in the Leadership Circle speaks volumes about Mcity's important work," Jong Kim, senior vice president in the office of the chief technology officer at LG Electronics, said. "From LG's perspective, Mcity represents the epicenter of innovation and public policy defining the future of connected transportation."

To learn more about Mcity, visit its website.

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