| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Pinterest RSS Feed

Transportation : Development News

97 Transportation Articles | Page: | Show All

Metro Detroit cities prepare for autonomous vehicles with smart infrastructure

Last spring, Terry Croad started attending quarterly meetings of the Michigan Connected and Automated Vehicle Working Group. As Southfield’s director of planning, he hoped to stay abreast of the latest technology advancements as well as regulatory, financial, security, and other issues tied to the rapidly advancing ecosystem of connected and autonomous vehicles.

Often, he’d be the only planner in a room full of engineers, computer programmers, transportation experts, economic development leaders, and security and defense officials.

Southfield is getting a head start on the inevitable infrastructure changes mobility will require. “We’re already starting to tweak a little bit our land-use pattern and our regulation, and I think as this becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives, it’s going to have a significant impact on the way we park and use cars,” Croad says.

All Metro Detroit cities could look a lot different in the not-so-distant future thanks to the advent of autonomous vehicles and innovative mobility services.

Features we now take for granted, like 10- to 12-foot-wide driving lanes and expansive parking lots, could be rendered unnecessary in areas where people use connected, driverless cars, or ride-sharing platforms to get from point A to point B.

That’s why it’s crucial for local government officials to stay on top of the latest developments in connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology and adjust their infrastructure and land-use plans accordingly, says Croad.

Experts estimate that autonomous vehicles will be commonplace within 15 to 20 years. “As a [planning] profession, we need to be embracing this earlier than later ... The earlier we start talking about it and getting our elected officials at least aware that this is coming, better off we’re all going to be,” he says.

Southfield even included a section on “innovative transportation opportunities” in the master plan it updated in 2016. It stressed the need to be proactive to understand the impacts of such advancements so it could better plan and invest for the future.

That kind of awareness is one of the biggest things communities can do to prepare for CAVs, says Valerie Sathe Brugeman, senior project manager at the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research. Brugeman recently co-authored a “Future Cities” report commissioned by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) on the potential benefits and challenges of CAV technology to communities.

At this point she hasn’t seen Michigan communities drastically change their roads, intersections or pedestrian walkways, but she said big changes could be needed as more people use autonomous or shared vehicles.

Intelligent use of space

Since CAVs should be able to stay in their lanes better than vehicles with drivers, roads of the future could have narrower lanes, allowing more space for pedestrian paths, drop-off lanes or other uses. There’s a possibility these technologies could result in fewer vehicles on the road, meaning fewer lanes would be needed. Or it could have the opposite effect, and result in increased vehicle miles traveled with more people opting to commute further to work or using autonomous cars that drive around with no occupants after drop-offs, Brugeman says.

Parking needs also are expected to change. A driverless car could drop passengers off at their destination and then either park itself off-site, or continue driving to pick up different passengers. That would reduce the need for parking spots in prime locations as well as shrink individual parking space sizes. Autonomous vehicles can park closer together if there are no passengers who need to open doors.

As cities build new parking structures, they should consider making them retrofittable so they could be transformed for office space or recreational use as parking needs decrease, says Brugeman. Communities also could change zoning regulations to dictate the maximum number of parking spots instead of minimum number of spots for particular developments.
Southfield recently conducted an overhaul of its parking standards to take these trends into consideration. Croad wants to reduce the parking ratios required for certain land uses and shrink the space between aisles.

Future planning for Michigan cities

While Southfield is considered ahead of the pack in acknowledging the potential impacts of CAVs and other mobility advancements, it’s not the only Metro Detroit community taking action. Last year the City of Detroit created the Office of Mobility Innovation and named Mark de la Vergne its chief.

“The fact that they now have a chief of mobility innovation is telling of the value they place on the topic and the technologies surrounding it,” Brugeman says.

Detroit recently won a nearly $2.2 million federal grant to deploy vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication and detection technologies at intersections in high-traffic areas in Southwest Detroit, the Riverfront, Corktown, and the Livernois-McNichols corridor. De la Vergne says the connected corridors should improve traffic safety and reduce emergency response times.

The grant will be a jumping off point to understand how and if the city could scale the technology, and what kind of infrastructure it would require.

“Knowing technology is changing a lot, I think that’s the challenge we all face, but at the same time, we want to be able to start getting some of this stuff in the ground so that we can start learning,” de la Vergne says.

Michigan is a national leader when it comes to developing, testing and promoting CAV technology. There are at least 115 dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) roadside units installed throughout the state for vehicle and infrastructure connectivity, according to the Future Cities report. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is partnering with local and state entities to work on several CAV projects, such as allowing transit signal priority to SMART buses in Macomb County with the goal of improving efficiency and reliability.

“We have all these physical assets here that really make this area unique to other parts of the country,” Brugeman says, noting that one of Michigan’s biggest advantages is the collaboration between MDOT and the MEDC in concert with the auto industry, universities and other entities.

“They recognize the need to remain a leader, because there are a lot of other communities that are vying for a leadership position in this race for CAVs,” she says.

Continental in Auburn Hills develops control element for automated driving


As autonomous and connected vehicles move closer to commercialization, Auburn Hills-based global automotive supplier Continental announced The Smart Control, an input device that is transparently and intuitively designed to aid the driver’s transition from operator to user of automated driving functions.

Read more

Pentastar Aviation collaborates on co-ownership solution for business aircraft owners


Waterford Township-based Pentastar Aviation and Partners in Aviation (PIA) announced they will offer a comprehensive management program with a cost-effective solution to owning and operating a business aircraft.

Read more

Magna partners with MDOT, 3M to improve vehicle safety


Troy-based automotive supplier Magna has announced a collaborative effort with the Michigan Department of Transportation and 3M to improve vehicle connectivity, driver safety, and security.

Over the next several years, Magna will provide its camera and secure connectivity technology to create the nation’s first vehicle-to-infrastructure connected work zone along a three-mile section of I-75 in Oakland County.

Read more

Corporate Eagle selected for 5.7-acre airport land lease at the Oakland County International Airport

Corporate Eagle, a provider of premium, membership-based fractional and managed business aviation programs, based at Oakland County International airport, announced today that it has been selected as the finalist for a highly sought after 5.7-acre parcel of land at the Oakland County International Airport. Corporate Eagle President and CEO Rick Nini made the announcement.

Corporate Eagle competed against other organizations in an Oakland County RFP process that included an extensive description of the proposed development along with a formal presentation to secure this piece of property. This new site permits the company to construct a state-of-the-art building from the ground up, providing Corporate Eagle’s Southeast Michigan members with a very exclusive and efficient private aviation facility, and will allow the company to continue with its strategic growth plan adding hangar space to accommodate more and larger aircraft. Details relating to design and development timing will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Corporate Eagle has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, highlighted most recently with the 2015 launch of our Falcon 2000 fractional program,” said Nini. “We posted a record year in 2016. During that time, we flew more than 2,000 trips with over 9,000 passengers—landing in 27 different countries. In the past five years, Corporate Eagle has doubled its member base and significantly increased our staff. This is a great opportunity for Corporate Eagle, our staff and our 41 members, and we’re excited to move forward with this great new facility.”

Corporate Eagle is Michigan's largest, longest-serving and fastest growing provider of fractional and managed business aviation. Currently operating from a 58,000 square-foot facility at Oakland International Airport, Corporate Eagle has grown to 57 employees including 32 captain-rated pilots and 14 modern aircraft including the Dassault Falcon 2000, Raytheon Hawker 800XP and Beechcraft Super King Air B200.  The company also manages several private aircraft for businesses, families and individuals.

About Corporate Eagle
Founded in 1982, Corporate Eagle is southeast Michigan's largest and longest serving provider of premium, membership-based fractional and managed business aviation programs. Based at Oakland County International Airport, Corporate Eagle's team of 57 full-time, experienced, committed and passionate professionals are dedicated to delivering exemplary experiences for the region's industry leading corporations and business leaders. With a mission specific fleet of 14 meticulously maintained aircraft, best in class industry safety standards and certifications and unmatched attention to every detail, without compromise, Corporate Eagle, offering the only Far 91 Subpart K fractional aviation program in Michigan, offers its southeast Michigan members a premier, seamless and flexible solution to their private aviation needs. For more information visit www.corporateeagle.com.

Michigan, 3M to install I-75 technology allowing roads and cars to 'communicate'


The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently established a partnership with 3M for its I-75 project. The government agency will soon begin construction and installation of technology that will allow "communication" between the road and the cars.

Read more

Bosch creates map for automated driving that utilizes radar signals


Bosch, an engineering and electronics company which operates its North American headquarters in Farmington Hills, in collaboration with TomTom, a Dutch map and traffic information provider, today announced the first radar signaled localization layer for high-resolution maps used in automated driving.

Read more

Michigan Capital Advisors invests in Light Guide Systems augmented reality technology

Michigan Capital Advisors (MCA), a private equity firm focused on the automotive and transportation-related industries, announced it has invested in OPS Solutions, maker of the augmented reality technology Light Guide Systems that is transforming manual assembly and manufacturing processes for companies worldwide. Charles “Chip” McClure, Managing Partner of MCA, has joined the OPS Solutions Board of Managers in conjunction with this investment.

MCA’s growth equity investment will add new horsepower to the rapidly growing company, which enjoyed a 100 percent revenue increase in 2016 and expanded into a custom-built 10,000 square foot facility in Wixom.

“The entire team at OPS Solutions is excited for MCA’s support and thrilled to work with Chip and his team to bring our innovative technology and job creation tools to new markets,” said Paul Ryznar, founder, President and CEO of OPS Solutions. “MCA’s industry expertise and relationships open the door to new worldwide opportunities and expand our sales reach as we transform manufacturing processes and drive the manufacturing industry forward with smart technology.”

“Light Guide Systems is at the forefront of using augmented reality to drive meaningful productivity gains in manufacturing, and we see multiple applications for this technology in the automotive, transportation, medical device and other industries,” said McClure. “I have known Paul for over 20 years, and we are tremendously excited to be partnering with him and his team to support OPS Solutions’ growth trajectory.”

Light Guide Systems helps reduce errors and radically improve manufacturing and other manual processes by projecting a digital operating “canvas” directly onto virtually any work surface and providing audio and visual prompts, guidance, pacing and direction. Light Guide Systems Pro takes the tool to the next level by incorporating its proprietary software into the powerful yet compact Sprout Pro by HP PC platform to deliver a package that is portable, flexible and affordable.

Light Guide Systems is currently available worldwide. Visit www.lightguidesys.com for more information.

About Light Guide Systems

Wixom, Michigan-based Light Guide Systems, Light Guide Medical and OPS Solutions have created patented products, Light Guide Systems Pro™ and Light Guide Systems Classic™, which use proprietary software and industrial projector systems to guide and confirm completion of complex tasks. From assembly to quality control to training, Light Guide System’s technology provides the visualization, traceability and flexibility demanded by leading companies worldwide. Key industries include aerospace, agriculture, automotive, energy, heavy equipment and medical. Learn more at www.lightguidesys.com.

About Michigan Capital Advisors

Michigan Capital Advisors is a private equity firm focused on the middle-market Tier II and III suppliers in the automotive, heavy truck and transportation related industries.  These Tier II and III suppliers have been chronically underserved by the investment community for a variety of reasons, including market cyclicality and operational complexity.  By leveraging industry relationships, operating expertise and access to capital, Michigan Capital Advisors sees a tremendous opportunity to invest in this demanding, yet dynamic industry. Learn more at www.michigancapitaladvisors.com.

Birmingham's Soaring Pine Capital acquires aerospace and DoD provider ETI Tech Inc.


Birmingham-based Soaring Pine Capital, a Simon Group Holdings company, announced it has acquired ETI Tech Inc. in Dayton, Ohio.

Founded in 1996, ETI is a leading provider of more than 200 flight hardware parts for military aircraft and ground support equipment for the aerospace defense industry, including fixed and rotary wing aircrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles such as the F-35, C-130, F-16, and C-5B.

Read more.

Penske Automotive expands presence in United Kingdom


Penske Automotive Group, a Bloomfield Township-based international transportation services company, has announced an agreement today to acquire CarShop, one of the U.K.’s leading retailers of used vehicles, known for their fixed retail prices and transparent customer buying experience.

Read more.

GM to begin autonomous vehicle manufacturing and testing


Just days after Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation allowing autonomous vehicle testing in Michigan, General Motors Co. has announced plans to begin doing so on public roads. The company also announced it will begin producing the next generation of its autonomous test vehicles at its Orion Township assembly plant in early 2017.

Read more.

Troy's Delphi Automotive partners with Mobileye to develop automated driving system for 2019


Delphi Automotive, an automotive technology supplier with its North American headquarters in Troy, has partnered with Mobileye, a supplier of vision-based sensing systems with U.S. offices in Jericho, N.Y., to develop an autonomous driving system that is expected to be production ready by 2019.

“This partnership will allow us to give our customers an increased level of automated capabilities faster and more cost effectively,” says Kevin Clark, president and CEO of Delphi. “The collective expertise of our two organizations will accelerate the creation of new approaches and capabilities that would likely not have been possible working alone.”

Read more.

Business Aviation Expo soars higher

Corporate executives can learn how to make their businesses soar at the Business Aviation Expo on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Oakland County International Airport’s (OCIA) modern LEED Gold-certified airport terminal. At least 20 business aircraft will be on display and available for tours along with 19 aviation vendors to demonstrate the vast benefits of business aviation. OCIA, the Michigan Business Aviation Association (MBAA), and media partner Crain’s Detroit Business are hosting the event.

“The expo is an opportunity for c-suite executives to learn about how business aviation can boost their bottom lines,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Private air transportation enables both businesses and individuals to reach 5,000 U.S. airports, 10 times as many as commercial airlines.”

Corporate Eagle, Pentastar Aviation, and Royal Air Charter will be among the OCIA businesses on hand next to original equipment manufacturers Dassault Falcon Jet, Bombardier, Embraer Executive Jets, Gulfstream, and Textron.

There will be four break-out sessions designed to educate both veterans of and those who are new to business aviation. These sessions are “Getting Started in Business Aviation” by Brad Bruce, vice president of sales for Pentastar Aviation and Roger Salo, chair of the MBAA; “The Ins and Outs of Fractional Ownership” with Rick Nini, president and CEO of Corporate Eagle; the “Aircraft Transactions and other Hot Topics” with Clifford Maine, chairman of the aviation law group at the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg; and “When Cash is King, Leasing may be the Answer” by Greg Babcock, vice president - central USA sales region for Global Jet Capital.

OCIA hosted Michigan’s first business aviation expo last year. Participants wanted to see the event grow, so OCIA and its sponsors are making the event bigger and better this year. For more information or to register, go to www.OakGov.com/Aviation and click on the expo link. To join the conversation, use #MichAirExpo.

The Business Aviation Expo is made possible by its sponsors. At the Gold Level are Corporate Eagle, Pentastar Aviation, and Royal Air Charter. At the Silver Level are Dassault Falcon Jet, Satcom Direct, and Sidock Group, Inc.

West Bloomfield's Cauley Ferrari to expand and remodel dealership


West Bloomfield Township-based Cauley Ferrari, the only authorized Ferrari dealership in Michigan, will expand and remodel its store along Orchard Lake Road.

Originally 14,000 square feet, the new facility will cover 51,000 square feet and feature a two-story showroom and expansion of its indoor vehicle storage capacity. Other improvements include a new service write-up aisle, a collision repair center, a detailing center, and an extra indoor vehicle storage area.

Read more.

Google to open self-driving development center in Novi


Google’s Self-Driving Car Project said it will open a 53,000-square-foot development center in Novi, providing even more evidence of the sprint by Silicon Valley and the auto industry toward autonomous vehicles.

Read more.
97 Transportation Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts