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P3M chosen for pioneering connected-vehicle infrastructure project

Oakland County, Mich. and the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) have selected P3 Mobility (P3M) of Toronto through an open bid to launch a first-of-its-kind pilot program to test connected vehicle infrastructure and determine whether an innovative business model to monetize that infrastructure is viable. The business model will involve a public-private partnership. They made the announcement in conjunction with the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS America) of America annual meeting in Detroit.

“The pilot program has the potential to revolutionize transportation not just in Oakland County but for the world by seeing whether we can monetize connected mobility infrastructure,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “On an engineering and business level, this is our moon shot.”

In Patterson’s 2014 State of the County speech, he announced the formation of the Oakland County Connected Vehicle Task Force whose job is to tap industry experts to develop a business model for implementing connected vehicle infrastructure throughout the county. P3M will help the task force take the next step on developing and testing a leading-edge business model.

“This is no small task. After all, Oakland County has 5,600 miles of roads and 1,600 intersections with traffic signals,” RCOC Deputy Managing Director/County Highway Engineer Gary Piotrowicz said. “We in Oakland County, however, are visionary. We don’t view the magnitude of the task as an obstacle but a challenge to which to put our best and brightest minds to solve.”

P3 Mobility will install wireless smart intersection technology at 10-12 intersections and research the user experience to better understand the optimal pricing of various road services and their projected income potential. The exact location, dates of installation, and cost of the project will be determined.

“We are delighted to have been selected for this groundbreaking project in Oakland County,” P3M CEO Erin Milligan. “During the pilot, we will engage Oakland County residents at every level which will include conducting extensive market research to learn what they think about and want for future connected mobility in their community.”

RCOC is no stranger to connected-vehicle technology – including connected-vehicle infrastructure - and has a global reputation for its leadership in the field. It was the first local agency in the United States to introduce a connected-vehicle project in 1992 when it launched its FAST-TRAC adaptive traffic signal system. Since then, it has been a key player in numerous connected-vehicle technology tests and deployments, partnering with the Federal Highway Administration, Michigan Department of Transportation, all the major auto manufacturers, many tier 1 auto suppliers and many of the leading connected-vehicle companies from around the world.

“The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute published an article a few weeks ago that says implementing connected vehicle technology and infrastructure could prevent up to 8.1 million car crashes and 44,000 deaths,” Patterson said. “Taking another step closer to countywide connected vehicle infrastructure is another step closer to preventing automobile deaths and injuries.”

For more information go to OakGov.com/AdvantageOakland, select “Programs” and click on “Connected Vehicle”; RCOCWeb.org, and P3Mobility.com.

About P3 Mobility

P3M provides a software platform which enables secure and authenticated subscriptions to various smart road services. The "P3" in their name stands for public-private-partnership as they believe that intelligent road infrastructure can be built and funded through such a model. P3M has identified and formed partnerships with leading companies in the Connected Autonomous Vehicle, market research and consulting sectors to bring Oakland County a consortium of world-class expertise. The list of International and North American partner companies which provided support in their RFP response included: Marsh, WSP, Integral Blue, E-Scrypt, Miovision, Savari, Paxgrid CDN, IMG Rebel, Head Research, Giants and Gentlemen, Mobile Comply, Future Help Design, Veterans Life USA, Axcess Internet, Lease Web, Invest Stratford, and Stonebridge. P3M aims to engage the diverse expertise of its partner firms to demonstrate a level of success in the pilot phase which will pave the way for a full-scale roll-out in Oakland County, the State of Michigan and throughout North America.

Waymo to convert Chrysler Pacificas into automated taxis

When customers hail a cab run by Waymo software, odds are they'll be climbing into the comfort of a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivan built in Auburn Hills.
 
And that's all well and good, except when it comes time to tip the driver. These cabs will be driverless.
 
Waymo is, of course, Google's subsidiary in charge of making cars drive themselves, and Fiat Chrysler just announced that it'll send thousands of Pacifica's for Waymo's fleet of self-driving taxis. This is in addition to about 600 of them that Waymo has already converted.
 
“To move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders,” says FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne in a statement. “Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology.”
 
Deliveries will begin at the end of 2018. The self-driving variety of these cars have been tested in 25 cities in the United States, including Detroit, Atlanta, San Francisco and Phoenix.
 
"With the world's first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we've moved from research and development to operations and deployment," says Waymo CEO John Krafcik. "The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale."
 
Waymo and FCA engineers worked together in designing mass-produced self-driving vehicles. In November, Waymo test-drove a fleet of autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. They were the first vehicles to achieve Level 4 autonomy. The Society of Automotive Engineers classification system runs from 1-5. Level 4 vehicles perform all safety functions and monitor road conditions for an entire trip.
 
Waymo will test its ride-hailing service this year in Phoenix. The new Pacificas will be used when the service expands to more cities across the country.

Oakland County extends deadline for companies to bid on development of autonomous vehicle pilot

Providers who have the ability to plan, build, deploy and maintain a pilot connected autonomous vehicle network that would ultimately make driving safer have until Feb. 15 to submit proposals to Oakland County.

The county extended the deadline for interested providers – either individually or as a collaboration – to present a system including signals, equipment and software. The system would enhance traffic safety by sending instantaneous electronic messages to vehicles, warning motorists of potentially dangerous driving situations such as a vehicle running a red light or stop sign or dangerous road conditions ahead. The county, with support from the Road Commission for Oakland County, is seeking bids that would provide this service at no cost to taxpayers.

This first-of-its-kind request for proposal was issued in December but was extended because of the complexity of the request and to give interested companies additional time to complete their bids, said Irene Spanos, the county’s director of economic development and community affairs.

County Executive L. Brooks Patterson created the Oakland County Connected Vehicle Task Force to make recommendations on how to deploy the world’s first countywide connected mobility system. Connected vehicle are able to transmit data about the vehicle and its location to other vehicles and to road infrastructure.

The 16-page request for proposal spells out in detail what is required of potential bidders. It challenges interested providers to create a system of dedicated short-range communication that can be easily adopted throughout the United States and other jurisdictions. Oakland County has more than 5,600 miles of roadway and 2,000 intersections that would use the system. Nearly 75 percent of the automotive industry has research and development operations in Oakland County.

The deadline to submit a proposal is Feb. 15, at 2 p.m. Potential bidders with questions about the request for proposal should contact Scott Guzzy of the county’s Purchasing Division at 248-858-5484 or guzzys@oakgov.com.

Multinational automotive company invests $22.3M in Oakland County facilities, creates 105 jobs

The North American subsidiary of India-based Mahindra, Mahindra Automotive North America Manufacturing, is expanding in both the cities of Pontiac and Auburn Hills. The company has invested $22.3 million in facilities in each city, creating a total of 105 jobs.

In Pontiac, Mahindra will lease and transform a former General Motors facility into a warehousing and parts distribution center.

In Auburn Hills, the company has announced that its pre-existing facility will be upgraded to become its North American automotive headquarters. The facility will also include an engineering center. Three of its off-road utility vehicles and prototypes will be manufactured there.

As a result of its investment, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has awarded Mahindra an $850,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. According to MEDC officials, Michigan beat out Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina, and Texas in competing for the jobs and investment.

"When an international company with a reach like Mahindra chooses Michigan for the third time in four years, that is a statement about our state’s business attractiveness, talented workforce, and leadership in automotive manufacturing," Jeff Mason, CEO of MEDC, said in a statement. "We’re pleased to support this global powerhouse as it further expands in Michigan and brings high-paying jobs to Michigan residents."

The 105 new jobs created by the development brings its Michigan employment numbers to 250. What's more, officials from Mahindra say the company plans on creating an additional 400 jobs and $600M in investment through 2020.

This is the first new OEM operation in Southeast Michigan in over 25 years, according to a release from Mahindra.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Legal street racing registration open for Dodge's Roadkill Nights

Excerpt

Auburn Hills automaker FCA US announced that registration is open for legal drag racing on Woodward Avenue as part of the Roadkill Nights event, sponsored by Dodge and TEN: The Enthusiast Network, which will take place on Aug. 12 at the M-1 Concourse in Pontiac. The drag racing event and car festival has a total cash purse of $29,000, with $10,000 awarded to the fastest Dodge car.

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Roadkill Nights powered by Dodge returns to Pontiac's M1 Concourse

Excerpt

Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge, a drag racing event and car festival, today announced it will return to the M1 Concourse in Pontiac for its second year on Aug. 12.  

Read more

Dodge partners with Universal Studios on The Fate of the Furious

Excerpt

Auburn Hills-based automaker FCA US announced that Dodge has entered a promotional partnership with Universal Pictures for The Fate of the Furious, which will arrive in theatres on April 14. Dodge has been part of the Fast and Furious franchise since its inception, and is launching a multitier marketing campaign including television ads, social media and digital extensions, and licensed products in advance of the film.

Read more.

300 businesses in region receive job survey to Create Profiles for employment in autonomous vehicles

Businesses in Southeast Michigan this week are being asked to identify the skills and abilities employers require of potential hires wanting jobs in the rapidly evolving connected/autonomous vehicle industry.

About 300 employers from Oakland County and surrounding counties in Southeast Michigan were sent the Skills Needs Assessment Project (SNAP) Connected Mobility survey to help determine what knowledge, skills and abilities – from the employer’s perspective – are necessary for job seekers to succeed in the industry. Original equipment manufacturers, suppliers and information technology are among the companies being surveyed.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said information gleaned from the survey will be used to create customized job profiles for educators to help develop curriculum and content, give real-time employer-driven information to students and adults to help them make important career decisions and to create a pipeline of qualified job applicants for employers. Businesses have until Nov. 30 to complete the survey.

“This is a highly technical and rapidly changing field and we’re asking these employers what they are looking for when hiring instead of us guessing what they might need,” Patterson said. “This survey – the first of its kind in the nation – is creating the framework to define the jobs that are not yet defined, the jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago.”

The SNAP Connected Mobility survey is the fourth in a series of employer job surveys commissioned by Oakland County and the Oakland County Workforce Development Board. SNAP began in 2009 with a study of skills and knowledge required for jobs in the Emerging Sectors®, which identifies top growth sectors in the region such as medical, communications, information technology and advanced materials. A second study was completed in 2013 on advanced manufacturing. The most recent was completed in 2014 identified the challenges and job opportunities facing area health systems. The first three reports are available online at under the BUSINESS section of www.AdvantageOakland.com.

Oakland County has been at the forefront of the movement towards connected car/autonomous vehicles. Patterson’s connected vehicle task force is beginning to implement a countywide connected vehicle ecosystem that will act as a pilot for the entire region. The county is home to dozens of major research and development facilities for many of the global companies operating in mobility including Autoliv, Continental, Denso, Delphi, Google, Lear, Nissan, P3 and Valeo.

“The technology and the workforce for the future of mobility are all right here,” said Deputy County Executive Matthew Gibb. “The study results will give us real-time employer-driven information to keep Oakland County and Michigan in the driver’s seat.”

The survey is being conducted by EdEn Inc., a Rochester-based research firm which produced the first three surveys. The project emanated from a recommendation of the Oakland County Business Roundtable Workforce & Education Committee and is funded by Oakland County, the Oakland County Workforce Development Board/Oakland County Michigan Works! through a grant from Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The survey results are expected in early 2017, said Jennifer Llewellyn, manager of the Oakland County Michigan Works! division. Employers who did not receive the survey but wish to participate can do so at www.OaklandCountySkillsSurvey.com. Those with questions about the project should contact Llewellyn at llewellynj@oakgov.com.
 

Orion Township auto plant ranked eighth in nation for renewable energy usage

Workers at the General Motors Orion Assembly plant are readying the Chevrolet Bolt EV for its debut, and they're doing so in one of the nation's top facilities for renewable energy usage.
 
Orion Assembly was recently ranked eighth among users of renewable energy generated onsite among a group formed by the U.S. EPA, the Green Power Partners. It's news that fits for the Bolt EV, GM's new all-electric vehicle.

According to the company, 54 percent of the General Motors Orion Assembly plant is powered by clean energy. GM accomplishes this by capturing and using the methane gas emitted from a nearby landfill, turning the decomposing garbage into energy. Renewable energy accounts for $1 million in savings a year for the plant in Orion Township.

In addition to utilizing methane gas from a nearby landfill, Orion Assembly also sends energy back to the grid with its 350-kilowatt solar array. While it has a goal of promoting using 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020, the company says it will have already exceeded that goal before the end of 2016.

The plant also cuts down energy costs through its three-wet process, where three layers of paint are applied before running the Bolt EV for just one trip through the drying oven, rather than three. 

"EPA applauds Orion Assembly for its innovation in generating green power from an onsite landfill gas energy system and for taking a leadership position on the environment," says James Critchfield, manager of the Green Power Partnership.

The Green Power Partnership is a program launched by the EPA in 2001, encouraging companies to embrace renewable electricity through technical assistance and recognition. According to the EPA, green power is that of the highest environmental benefit.

In 2013, Orion Assembly met the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry when it lowered its energy intensity by 67 percent, avoiding 42,758 tons of CO2 emissions.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

FCA U.S. launches public cybersecurity program

Excerpt

FCA U.S. in Auburn Hills has launched a public bug bounty program, which gives customers the opportunity to receive between $150 and $1,500 for reporting potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the auto manufacturer’s vehicles and connected services.

“There are a lot of people that like to tinker with their vehicles or tinker with IT systems,” says Titus Melnyk, senior manager of security architecture at FCA. “We want to encourage independent security researchers to reach out to us and share what they've found so that we can fix potential vulnerabilities before they're an issue for our consumers.” 

Read more.
 

Performance driving instruction event comes to M1 Concourse

Excerpt

Katech Inc., a Clinton Township-based high performance engine developer, will hold a driving event for local performance drivers to gain track experience and training at the newly established M1 Concourse track in Pontiac. 

Track Attack is one of the first public instruction-oriented events to be held at the new motorsports venue.

Read more.
 

Dodge's drag racing event returns to Pontiac ahead of Woodward Dream Cruise

Excerpt

The Dodge brand is once again sponsoring Roadkill Nights, a pop-up car festival and drag racing event, to be held in August in Pontiac before the Woodward Dream Cruise, Presented by Chevrolet.

Read more.
 

BASF: Changes in society, technology inspire future vehicle paint colors

Excerpt

The digitization of daily life will soon inspire new paint colors, with metallic blues, silver, and white hues becoming more popular, according to BASF in its annual automotive color trend report released today.

BASF, a global automobile supplier of industrial coatings and decorative paints and operates a large technical center in Southfield, offers predictions for 2020 and beyond, based on research by the company’s designers.

Read more.
 

Check out these classics and concepts at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, reopening next month

Excerpt

The museum that showcases the beginning of Walter P. Chrysler's namesake automobile company and its subsequent evolution reopens to the public next month. 

The museum traces the roots of Chrysler Corporation, which Walter Chrysler launched in Detroit in 1925 after successfully leading Buick for General Motors and then turning around Willys-Overland Motor Company. 

Read more.
 

Valeo Innovative Electric Supercharger and Water-cooled Condenser win 2016 Automotive News PACE Awar

Valeo has won 2016 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence) Awards for its Electric Supercharger and its Water-cooled Condenser. 
 
The Electric Supercharger is driven by an electric motor that allows faster response time and eliminates the lag effect associated with turbocharging. It is the first electric-driven compressor that will be in mass production and it is designed for 12-volt and 48-volt systems.
 
The Valeo Water-cooled Condenser uses water instead of air to condensate the conditioning refrigerant vapor. In comparison with conventional condensers, it reduces pressure fluctuations of the refrigerant in the air conditioning system thanks to the inertia of the liquid. Ultra compact, it does not need to be located in front of the radiator allowing free space for additional components, and reducing fan system electrical consumption, while minimizing refrigerant quantity in the air conditioning loop.
 
Additionally, Ichikoh, a lighting provider based in Japan, in which Valeo Group holds a stake, won a PACE Award for its innovative LED Light Source Module, which fits into a standardized socket, lowering cost and allowing the replacement of the LED alone.
 
Valeo accepted the honors at the 2016 Automotive News PACE Awards ceremony on April 11, at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit. For more than 20 years, the Automotive News PACE Awards have honored superior innovation, technological advancement and business performance among automotive suppliers. This prestigious award is recognized around the world as the industry benchmark for innovation.
 
In the past, Valeo has won PACE Awards in 2015 for its EG Efficiency Alternator, 2014 for its Back-Over Protection System, 2013 for its Air Intake Module, 2012 for its VisioBlade® wiper system, 2008 for its Park4U® park assist system, 2007 for its Multi-Beam Radar (MBR) blind spot detection system, 2006 for its StARS micro-hybrid system and 2005 for its LaneVue™ lane departure warning system.

Valeo is an automotive supplier, partner to all automakers worldwide. As a technology company, Valeo proposes innovative products and systems that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the development of intuitive driving.
In 2015, the Group generated sales of 14.5 billion euros and invested over 10% of its original equipment sales in research and development. Valeo has 134 plants, 17 research centers, 35 development centers and 15 distribution platforms, and employs 82,800 people in 30 countries worldwide. Valeo is listed on Euronext Paris and is a member of the CAC 40 index. For more information about the Valeo Group and its activities, please visit our website, www.valeo.com.
42 Automotive Articles | Page: | Show All
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