Coulter Recruits Steudle to Help Oakland County Focus on Developing Mobility Strategy

Kirk Steudle

PONTIAC, Mich. – May 12, 2021 – Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter has tapped Kirk Steudle, a nationally recognized leader in the development of connected and automated vehicle technologies, to lead the development of the county’s strategic initiative for mobility. The plan will focus on expanding existing and new businesses in this emerging and vital sector of the automotive economy.

Kirk Steudle

“Oakland County has a long history of innovation and leadership in emerging research and development,” Coulter said. “As the county responsible for one-fifth of Michigan’s economic output, it is vital that Oakland County is actively engaged in mobility to ensure our state remains a leader in the next generation of transportation technology. Kirk Steudle is the right leader at the right time to assist us in the development of a transformational strategy for mobility.”

Steudle, the past President and CEO of the American Center for Mobility and former Michigan Department of Transportation Director under both Gov. Granholm and Snyder, will work with Oakland County, industry leaders, and organizations to build a collaborative plan that will encourage innovation, expansion, and diversification.

“Oakland County has a tremendous private and public mobility ecosystem that is an integral part of the regions and statewide mobility efforts,” Steudle said. “I’m proud to work with Oakland County to develop a strategic approach to leveraging the county mobility strengths to leverage the best value for citizens.”

One of the partners Oakland County is looking forward to engaging in this conversation is Automation Alley. As the knowledge center for Industry 4.0, Automation Alley has ability to help existing local manufacturers diversify and engage in the mobility sector.

“As the smart and connected technologies of Industry 4.0 rapidly transform the way manufacturers do business, automakers are now operating as technology companies because they know innovation and data will drive the future of mobility,” said Tom Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley.

“Industry 4.0 is the backbone of mobility and Oakland County’s mobility initiative is a compliment to Automation Alley’s focus on Industry 4.0. We look forward to working with the County to help our manufacturers remain globally competitive.”

The focus on mobility strategy will give companies already located in Oakland County an opportunity to have a seat at the table and access to resources to enter the mobility market. One company that will help Oakland County lead the way in expansion of the mobility sector is DENSO.

“DENSO’s focus is creating a greener, safer and more seamless mobility future for all,” said Pat Bassett, senior vice president of Engineering at DENSO. “We recognize, however, that no one can get there alone, so we look forward to working with Oakland County and other partners to move us closer to this goal. Together, we can create solutions that reduce accidents, protect the environment and increase access to opportunity through freer movement.”

Strategic planning will take place over the spring and summer. During that time, Steudle, business leaders, community partners, state officials, and mobility experts will advise Coulter’s administration on how Oakland County can enlarge its leadership role in mobility.  This initiative will also be a key component of attracting national and international businesses to sustain Oakland County’s economic resiliency and growth.