YPSILANTI TWP. — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, along with business, government and academic leaders, celebrated the grand opening of the American Center for Mobility and welcomed Microsoft as the exclusive data and cloud provider for the mobility center at the historic Willow Run site.
John Maddox, ACM president and CEO, announced that Microsoft will provide ACM with cloud resources and data infrastructure to advance the testing and development of connected and automated vehicles as well as mobility technologies.
ACM will collaborate with Microsoft to design a cloud-based Data Management & Analytics Platform to collect, store and analyze data from tests conducted at the center. The system will be based on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Using Azure and DMAP will enable ACM and its partners to accelerate the development of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, apps and industry standards, to create a safe environment for testing, validating, and enabling collaboration across all members.
“Vehicles are quickly becoming data centers on wheels, and the opportunity to use the vast amounts of information generated to fuel innovation is unprecedented,” said Kevin Dallas, corporate vice president for artificial intelligence and intelligent cloud business development at Microsoft. “We’re proud ACM has selected Microsoft Azure as its exclusive cloud provider for its intelligent capabilities and the enterprise-grade security and compliance required to develop comprehensive solutions that help drive the future of mobility.”
Microsoft joins a long list of companies supporting ACM, including its founders AT&T, Visteon, Toyota, Ford and Hyundai America Technical Center Inc., and sponsors Subaru of America Inc. and Adient. In addition to serving as the center’s exclusive data and cloud provider, Microsoft will also hold a position on ACM’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB).
Located on a 500-acre site that once housed a World War II bomber plant, ACM opened its doors for testing in December. One of 10 federally designated proving grounds for developing and testing self-driving vehicles, the center provides several real-world environments with the ability to test under a range of driving environments and infrastructure. Included are a 2.5-mile highway loop, a 700-foot curved tunnel, a six-lane boulevard, a two-lane arterial road, two double overpasses, and various intersections and roundabouts.
Today’s announcement and grand opening coincide with the start of ACM’s next phase of construction, which will add an urban intersection by this summer, followed by a series of building facades and additional urbanized infrastructure expected by the end of the year. The expansion project also includes a headquarters and lab with demonstration space.
ACM is a joint initiative of the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the University of Michigan, the CEO organization Business Leaders for Michigan, Ann Arbor Spark — the economic development organization for Washtenaw and Livingston counties — and Ypsilanti Township.
The American Center for Mobility is part of PlanetM, a collaboration of private industry, government and institutions of higher learning with the common goal of leading the development of smart solutions that will change the way people and goods are transported across all modes of transportation.
To learn more, visit PlanetM.com. To learn more about ACM, visit www.acmwillowrun.org.