PlanetM Mobility Report

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Join Us in June: AutoMobili-D Powered by PlanetM

Now in its fourth year, AutoMobili-D Powered by PlanetM serves as the global stage for startups to showcase innovations and new technology, while networking with those who are moving mobility forward. PlanetM is offering numerous opportunities to get involved at this year’s show, including:

AutoMobili-D Powered by PlanetM v2
  • Startup Exhibit Space – Highlight your latest technology innovations in the AutoMobili-D Powered by PlanetM exhibit area, featuring more than 200 mobility and startup companies.
    • Apply here by April 30 (non-startup mobility companies interested in exhibiting in AutoMobili-D should contact Tavi Fulkerson at
  • Match Meetings – Connect with corporates, investors and startups through one-on-one match meetings curated and facilitated by PlanetM. Interested corporates, universities, investors and startups are encouraged to apply.
    • Apply here by April 30
  • PlanetM Awards – The PlanetM Awards honor those developing critical industry advancements across several categories, including Autonomous Driving, Connected Car, eMobility, Mobility Services and Smart Cities.
    • Apply here by April 30
  • PlanetM Startup Pitch Competition – Are you a startup who wants to pitch your technology, application or service to industry and public leaders and investors? Apply to participate in the PlanetM Startup Pitch Competition.
    • Apply here by April 30
  • Kickoff Networking Event – Join us for an evening of networking, hors d'oeuvres and conversation with the brightest minds leading the future of mobility to kick off another successful show the evening of Tuesday, June 9.
    • Stay tuned, registration details coming soon!
  • Call for Speakers – Share your insights and groundbreaking innovations with thousands of industry professionals. We’re currently seeking automotive and mobility leaders to apply as keynote presenters or panelists for AutoMobili-D Powered by PlanetM. Call for speakers and content ideas is currently open.
    • Apply here by March 2

Ford, City of Detroit and PlanetM Announce City:One Michigan Central Station Challenge Winning Proposal

City One Michigan Central Station Challenge

Congratulations to Mercy Education Project, AbleLink Smart Living Technologies, as well as a team composed of the Detroit Downtown Partnership, DTE, and local artists, as the winners of the City:One Michigan Central Station Challenge, a crowdsourcing platform to help prepare cities for the future by identifying new mobility designs and innovations. The winning solutions range from addressing the need for more inclusive transportation options to making the Corktown community more inviting for its residents to commute, including a responsive transit application, bridge art project, and information kiosks, all in an effort to improve mobility for people living, working, and visiting communities surrounding Michigan Central Station.

The winning teams will divide $250,000 to test their proposals in a real-world setting to connect people, places and opportunities with mobility services that work together. This collaborative project between Ford, the City of Detroit, and PlanetM highlights the magnitude of opportunities that collaborations between public and private sectors bring to communities and to the state, while underscoring there is no better place in the world to take an idea from the mind to the market than here in Michigan – especially when it comes to mobility.

American Center for Mobility Debuts New Technology Park

American Center for Mobility (ACM) Technology Park

The American Center for Mobility (ACM) recently announced its site-ready real estate equipped for development at its Technology Park at Willow Run. The space will provide opportunities for mobility companies to co-locate next to ACM’s already established, world-class Smart City Test Center, and is anticipated to create 1,200 potential jobs at the historic site.

The ACM Technology Park is a certified shovel-ready site and part of MEDC’s Site Readiness Program, a grant program aimed at boosting Michigan’s inventory of available properties ready to compete for business attraction projects. The development builds upon Michigan’s legacy of cutting-edge technology innovation while further stimulating mobility innovation throughout the state.

GM Invests $2.2 Billion at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant Monday, January 27, 2020. Photo courtesy of General Motors.

General Motors announced its plans to invest $2.2 billion at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, the company’s first fully-dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and MEDC CEO Jeff Mason joined GM leadership along with state, local, federal and UAW officials in support of the announcement that follows a series of major auto investments in southeast Michigan in 2019.

The company will produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs at the plant, including the all-electric GMC Hummer EV and Cruise Origin, a shared, electric, self-driving vehicle. Since the fall of 2018, GM has gone all in on its all-electric future, having committed to invest more than $2.5 billion in Michigan to bring electric vehicles to market through investments at Orion assembly, GM battery lab in Warren, Brownstown and the recent Detroit-Hamtramck investment. 

This investment, which is expected to create more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs once fully operational, signals GM’s commitment to an electric future, while further cements Michigan’s rank as the global leader in automotive design, manufacturing, and mobility.

Strengthening Michigan's Mobility Workforce

The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity recently welcomed HR executives from Ford, FCA, Bosch, Adient, Meritor, and Visteon for a dialogue around the industry's current and future mobility workforce challenges, alongside representatives from the office of the Governor, MEDC, MICHauto, and Michigan Talent.

Mobility HR meetup

PlanetM, Genivi Partnership on Display at CES 

PlanetM Match Meetings at CES 2020

PlanetM and GENIVI, an alliance that develops standard approaches for integrating operating systems and middleware present in the centralized and connected vehicle cockpit, wrapped up another successful year at CES 2020. With technology innovation on full display in Vegas, the two collaborated on matchmaking meetings and a networking reception, including an appearance from Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist. The events presented a chance for corporates, investors and startups to build connections while exploring opportunities to join Michigan’s growing mobility scene.

Of the 1,100+ attendees who participated, more than 30 mobility startups were represented and nearly 150 meetings conducted, showcasing the depth of Michigan’s diverse mobility scene.

Industry events like these serve as an opportunity for qualified, mobility-focused startup companies to connect with similarly-focused corporate and investor partners of the PlanetM program, all while building connections that help grow the mobility ecosystem in Michigan. Stay tuned to the PlanetM Mobility Report for upcoming event opportunities including GENIVI’s TU Automotive Reception and NAIAS 2020.

PlanetM Landing Zone Member Spotlight: Marelli


PlanetM Landing Zone member, Marelli, recently announced a joint development agreement with XenomatiX to develop LiDAR system solutions. XenomatiX will provide Marelli’s Automotive Lighting division with its true “solid-state LiDAR” modules for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) applications. The two companies will combine competencies and technologies to offer modular LiDAR system solutions to meet future global automotive needs, also leveraging the artificial intelligence (AI) perception technology derived from “SmartMeUp,” the French start-up acquired by Marelli in 2018.

The collaboration comes as Marelli celebrates one year as a corporate PlanetM Landing Zone Member, where the two work to identify global automotive technology through custom tech scouting and pre-qualified meetings at events hosted by PlanetM.

Congratulations to both Marelli and XenomatiX on their joint development agreement and their continued commitment to advancing the future of mobility right here in Michigan.

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In the News


The not-a-car sits on the gleaming black stage surrounded by a halo of light. It’s orange and black and white, and roughly the same size as a crossover SUV, but somehow looks much larger from the outside. There is no obvious front to the vehicle, no hood, no driver or passenger side windows, no side-view mirrors. The symmetry of the exterior is oddly comforting.

Uber is bringing its testing of self-driving vehicles to D.C. streets

Uber will start scanning and mapping District streets Friday in preparation for testing self-driving cars here later this year, the company said Thursday. The ride-hailing company is moving to expand testing on public roads following the conclusion, in November, of a federal investigation into problems with Uber’s technology and management that left an Arizona pedestrian dead in 2018. After its digital mapping is completed in Washington and other technical work is done in Pittsburgh, Uber will begin its autonomous operations on District roads with speed limits of 25 miles per hour, company officials said.

Tesla strikes deal to sell cars in Michigan

Tesla has reached a deal with Michigan that will allow the company to sell its cars directly in the state, bringing a multiyear legal battle to an end. It’s a small but crucial victory for Tesla, and one that comes in the home state of the automotive industry. Thanks to a state law that forces automakers to work with dealers to sell their vehicles, would-be Tesla customers in Michigan have had to travel to neighboring states to buy one of the company’s vehicles. Tesla owners had to do the same to get their vehicles serviced.

Hyundai, Kia invest $110 million in UK electric van startup Arrival Ltd

Korea’s Hyundai Group is backing a UK electric vehicle startup that plans to begin selling battery-powered delivery vans in 2021, the companies said on Thursday. Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and sister firm Kia Motors Corp (000270.KS) are making the investment of 100 million euros ($110 million) in Arrival Ltd. Founded in 2015 and based in London, Arrival has developed a boxy, futuristic-looking shuttle bus aimed at the commercial delivery market. The company said its van will have a range between charges of 300 miles.

Uber kicks off adaptive electric scooter pilot in SF

Uber’s JUMP has started its adaptive scooter pilot in partnership with San Francisco Bike Rentals. This is part of Uber’s permit with the city of San Francisco, which requires all electric scooter operators to pilot adaptive scooter share. “We’re committed to helping improve access to transportation for everyone in San Francisco and we believe our adaptive scooters will do just that — especially for people who either don’t need mobility assistance at home, or don’t qualify for home scooter purchase programs, but who still face limited options in public,” an Uber spokesperson said.

GM revamps digital platform for EV future

More than two years before a new vehicle is built, General Motors engineers test the power steering, turn signals and driver-assist technology such as Super Cruise — all from a lab at its engineering hub here. It's made possible by GM's new digital platform, which will be integrated into most of its vehicles by 2023. It debuted on the 2020 Cadillac CT5 and will be part of the upcoming Cadillac CT4 and redesigned Chevrolet Corvette, Suburban and Tahoe.

Stay connected to the resources dedicated to the evolution of transportation mobility by visiting If you’re a company with autonomous, connected, electric or shared transportation technologies interested in tapping into PlanetM’s collaborative work space, visit