The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) announced today that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is sponsoring Planet M, the state’s partnership branding initiative to foster, retain and grow the mobility sector and position Michigan as the global epicenter for future transportation as part of AutoMobili-D.

“Michigan put the world on wheels over a century ago and with state’s private and public companies coming together to form Plant M, Michigan is positioned to innovate and launch future mobility technologies that will positively impact the world for another century,” said Sam Slaughter, 2017 NAIAS Chairman. “Showcasing these exciting initiatives in front of tens of thousands of mobility focused individuals from across the globe attending AutoMobili-D will provide the ideal platform for new connections and collaborations.”

AutoMobili-D will run from Sunday, Jan. 8 to Thursday, Jan. 12 as part of the North American International Auto Show’s Press Preview week and feature over 120 companies within a dedicated 120,000 sq. ft. dynamic exposition. As part of the MEDC’s significant commitment to AutoMobili-D, Hall E, adjacent to Cobo Center’s Atrium, will be renamed Planet M. In addition, a display within Planet M will highlight leading mobility companies and initiatives happening in Michigan. A theater within Planet M will host mobility presentations during Industry Preview (Jan. 11-12). Planet M is a campaign created by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in conjunction with public and private partners.

“Many of the auto shows around the world are adding more technology and mobility components,” said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “Planet M is Michigan’s effort to showcase our leadership in this space, and it’s a perfect campaign fit for the new AutoMobili-D section of one of the best auto shows in the world.”

Planet M was launched in June 2016 as a collaborative branding effort to promote Michigan as the epicenter of mobility. The messaging pushes Michigan’s leadership in talent development, auto R&D and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) testing.

  • Michigan is home to the largest concentration of engineers in the nation.
  • Leading the mobility movement, Michigan’s universities are home to programs and research groups driving the industry. Programs and projects include Cybersecurity, Big Data and Business Analytics and Next Generation Auto.
  • The University Research Corridor universities (University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University) invest over $60 million annually on automotive innovation related to research and development.
  • Michigan leads the nation in patents relating to navigation and smart mobility. Over 25% of all automotive patents are generated in Michigan, nearly three times as many as any other state.
  • Kettering University recently opened its GM Mobility Research Center, opening up opportunities for faculty to engage in applied research at the cutting edge of autonomous vehicle systems design and engineering.
  • By 2017, Michigan will be home to two permanent and purpose-built autonomous vehicle testing sites, Mcity and the American Center for Mobility.

NAIAS recently announced that John Krafcik, CEO of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project will keynote the kickoff of AutoMobili-D. Planet M will co-sponsor the VIP reception following John’s announcement.

“Cars aren’t going away anytime soon. But how we use them is changing in very fundamental ways,” said MEDC Auto Office SVP Kevin Kerrigan. “NAIAS is one of the world’s top venues for automotive innovation, and AutoMobili-D will extend the show’s vision into the future of personal transportation.”

Key facts and figures on Michigan’s commitment to mobility:

  • Michigan is an established foundation and home to 375 automotive research and development facilities, more than 50 percent of North America’s top auto suppliers have headquarters in Michigan and is ranked number one nationally for the number of advanced automotive industry jobs.
  • Michigan leads the nation in patents relating to navigation and smart mobility. Over 25 percent of all automotive patents are generated in Michigan, nearly three times as many as any other state.
  • Michigan is home to the largest deployment of freeway and surface street vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) technology in the U.S. By the end of 2019 Michigan will have more than 350 miles of infrastructure wired for V2I technology.

“Serving the state’s economy has always been a guiding principal for our department,” said Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “We are pleased to support MEDC and the governor as Michigan continues to lead in developing the technology that will create jobs and transform the way people and goods move across the state and out to worldwide markets.”

About the North American International Auto Show
Now in its 29th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, technologies, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place. Administered by executive director Rod Alberts, the NAIAS is one of the largest media events in North America, and the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world. For more information, visit

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