Mcity announces Affiliate members in second phase of funding
ANN ARBOR—Forty-two companies have committed to investing $150,000 each in Mcity as Affiliate members over the next three years.
Mcity is the University of Michigan-led public-private R&D initiative leading the transformation to connected and automated mobility.
The Affiliate members represent a broad range of industry sectors that reflect Mcity’s success in building an ecosystem of companies committed to the center’s mission to accelerate the development and implementation of connected and automated vehicles to improve traffic safety, conserve energy and increase accessibility to transportation.
“Motor vehicle crashes kill about 37,000 people every year in the United States and 1.2 million people globally every year,” said Huei Peng, Mcity director and the Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering at U-M. “If we use new technologies right, we can save lives.”
Affiliates companies include automotive manufacturers and suppliers, chip and hardware makers, insurance providers, and companies engaged in such technologies as advanced modeling, big data acquisition, and intelligent transportation systems.
“Mcity is tackling an aggressive research agenda to accelerate progress towards a world with safer and more efficient mobility through connected and autonomous vehicles,” said Jeff Hood, principal with Deloitte Digital. “As an Affiliate member, Deloitte Consulting is able to collaborate with a diverse group of Mcity participants to help shape that future of mobility.”
Affiliate members complement Mcity’s 11 Leadership Circle member companies, who have each committed a total of $1 million over three years to support Mcity and its programs in this second phase of funding.
“Incorporating the ‘voice of the customer’ into the development of automated vehicles is a critical part of consumer acceptance, and that’s why J.D. Power is associated with Mcity,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human machine interface at J.D. Power. “Mcity is doing valuable research in mobility that will have significant influence.”
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.
“Subaru is looking forward to further collaboration with Mcity in the future,” said Subaru vice president Kiminaga Shirakawa. “The various connectivity and sensor-oriented tests that we have performed within the Mcity (Test Facility) environment, along with the potential for autonomous vehicle technology development, make Mcity a very beneficial resource for our company.”
To date, Mcity has invested about $20 million in 40 research projects. The total investment at Mcity and the U-M Transportation Research Institute in connected and automated vehicle research, development and deployment activities will exceed $100 million by 2020, with funding from U-M, government agencies, and industry. In addition, dozens of faculty and hundreds of students are engaged in work to advance mobility. New capabilities have recently been added to the Mcity Test Facility, including a Traffic Control Center with augmented reality testing capability, and connectivity between vehicles and the traffic infrastructure.
“As an industry leader in the drive to make transportation predictive, safer and more efficient, Savari values being a member of Mcity and their quest to lead the transformation of connected and automated vehicles,” said Faroog Ibrahim, executive director of Savari Inc.
Other Affiliate members comment on their decision to invest in Mcity:
“Changan was the first Chinese OEM to become an Affiliate member of Mcity,” Changan Automobile Vice President Wei Li stated. “We have successfully developed technologies for autonomous driving and V2X using the Mcity facility. This collaboration benefits both parties and Changan is happy to continue the partnership.”
“Progressive is excited to participate in Mcity,” said Mike Sieger, claims president at Progressive Insurance. “We look forward to collaborating with key stakeholders representing a broad range of industries and interests to observe and determine the potential benefits and challenges of connected and autonomous vehicle technology. The data and research generated from Mcity will enable us to stay ahead of industry trends and better understand how these technologies will impact our customers and consumers into the future.”
“Cohda Wireless values the opportunity to contribute to Mcity’s state-of-the-art connected autonomous vehicle test bed,” said Paul Gray, Chief Executive Office of Cohda Wireless, an original Mcity Affiliate member. “With our suite of proven applications for connecting vehicles, infrastructure and pedestrians, Cohda Wireless shares the Mcity vision of improving traffic safety, conserving energy and increasing transport accessibility by accelerating the adoption of connected and automated vehicles.”
“Collaboration among many stakeholders from industry, governments and higher learning institutions is absolutely essential as we pursue the vision of safer, connected and autonomous transportation,” said Aine Denari, senior vice president, Advanced Driver Assist Systems for ZF. “The testing and validation of these mobility systems poses an unprecedented challenge and Mcity is at the forefront of bringing together the right partners to help tackle this challenge.”
A complete list of companies investing in second phase funding as Mcity Affiliate members: