Microsoft has inked an exclusive deal to provide the American Center for Mobility (ACM) with data and cloud services as the facility continues to advance the development and testing of connected and automated vehicles and other mobility technologies.
“We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft,” said John Maddox, ACM’s president and CEO.
He said the partnership with Microsoft is a key move.
“By adding big-data to our diverse and growing group of stakeholders and world-class partners, ACM is staking its claim as the preeminent global hub for mobility companies to develop and test their connected technologies and vehicles in a safe and controlled environment,” said Maddox.
Michigan Gov Rick Snyder said the work being done by ACM represents a pinnacle moment for the state in the mobility revolution.
“Intelligent vehicle technology is evolving rapidly and Michigan is the world leader in making sure the mobility technologies driving the future are safely developed, tested and eventually deployed,” Snyder said. “This important partnership with Microsoft will provide the American Center for Mobility with the proper digital capabilities to help translate testing data into technology innovations that will make transportation safer for all and fuel further economic growth across the state.”
ACM will collaborate with Microsoft to design a cloud-based Data Management & Analytics Platform (DMAP) solution to collect, store and analyze data from tests. The solution will be based on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, allowing ACM and its partners to accelerate development efforts.
“Vehicles are quickly becoming datacenters on wheels, and the opportunity to use the vast amounts of information generated to fuel innovation is unprecedented,” said Kevin Dallas, corporate vice president, artificial intelligence & intelligent cloud business development, Microsoft.
Microsoft joins a long list of companies supporting ACM, including AT&T, Visteon Corporation, Toyota, Ford and Hyundai America Technical Center Inc., all founders of ACM. Subaru of America Inc., and Adient, who are sponsors of ACM are also involved.
In addition to serving as ACM’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, the American Center for Mobility opened its doors for testing in December. One of 10 federally designated proving grounds for developing and testing self-driving vehicles, the center provides a myriad of real-world environments with the ability to test under a range of driving environments and infrastructure that includes a 2.5-mile highway loop, a 700-foot curved tunnel, two double overpasses, intersections and roundabouts.
ACM is entering a next phase of construction that 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.
The center is a joint initiative with the State of Michigan founded in partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the University of Michigan, Business Leaders for Michigan, Ann Arbor SPARK and Ypsilanti Township.
The American Center for Mobility is part of PlanetM, a collaboration that represents Michigan’s unique and vast ecosystem, connecting resources and opportunities for its consortium of members. Made up of private industry, government and institutions of higher learning, partners in PlanetM share 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.