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By supporting FIRST, Bosch helps build the mobility workforce


This feature is courtesy of Driven, the story of how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.

The way Charlie Ackerman sees it, government, industry, and educators must work together toward a common goal to build a supply line of talent. As senior vice president of human resources, North America, at Robert Bosch L.L.C., Ackerman has witnessed the power of supporting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives in preparing young people to succeed in the technical workforce.

For the majority of his 23 years with Bosch, Ackerman has been a staunch supporter of FIRST, the international team robotics club for students. When Detroit was deep in the Great Recession, Ackerman recognized the significant impact FIRST could have as the the region recovered economically.

With more than 400 teams, Michigan is the largest FIRST state in the country, and Detroit will host the FIRST Championship at Cobo Center April 25-28.

“The FIRST concept is all about balancing the attention of our society around education and the development of people,” says Ackerman. He questions how society can replicate the energy dedicated to college and professional sports toward education, given the percentage of student athletes who succeed in pro sports versus those who aspire to STEM careers.

“Every associate that participates in FIRST gets a job. There is no loss,” he says.

Skills learned through FIRST, and other STEM education initiatives like SAE’s K-grade 8 AWIM, including collaboration, project management, leadership, business planning, fundraising, and account management are valuable to Bosch. That’s why they have 72 formal mentors representing Bosch in 21 FIRST teams in the U.S., impacting 1,000 students each year in communities where Bosch has a presence, including Charleston, Charlotte, Palo Alto, and cities in Illinois and Michigan.

“We literally put our leaders inside these teams and they build the talent and develop relationships,” says Ackerman. “We involve them in internship programs, we track them and put them into our targeted colleges through scholarships.”

As many as 1,000 students intern yearly with Bosch, with up to 350 placed between Farmington Hills and Plymouth. More than half eventually become Bosch employees. While Bosch focuses on strategic workforce development from the high school level, kids can participate in age-appropriate FIRST activities as early as age six.

And Ackerman says this strategy is working.

“If you look at computer software development in Detroit, and start thinking of skilled workers in this space, there is no unemployment. So if you can’t buy the talent, you have to build it.”

Trainee first responders learn to save lives through mobility


This feature is courtesy of Driven, the story of how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.

When first responders are on their way to an emergency, nothing is more important than information, because data learned in advance can save time and lives.

Critical information can tell first reponders if the the road ahead is clear, the size of the building on fire, if people are inside, and what kind of fire suppression system exists in the building.

With smart infrastructure enabling the new world of smart mobility, EMTs could have access to this information, and much more. They’ll also need to be trained to use new tools to gather this potentially life-saving data. That's why a number of companies, including Lear Corp., have helped install an array of new sensor technology into the Combined Regional Emergency Services Training (CREST) mini-city at Oakland Community College.

In addition to Lear’s roadside unit (RSU) sensors, HAAS Alert provided consumer alert applications, Mobile Data Holdings provided real-time video, and TracksUS provided in-vehicle diagnostics.

Running the show is Elaina Farnsworth, thought leader in the autonomous and intelligent transportation industry, and Mobile Comply CEO, says the sensors should be in place by this spring, allowing first responder trainees to test them in a real-world environment. Some of the connections will run through traffic lights, and some radios will be equipped with DSRC (dedicated short-range communication) devices to see if the safety messaging channel can be more effective.

"It really allows us to be very clear and targeted around new technologies that could aid and help these emergency responders in a controlled environment," Farnsworth says.

Mobile Comply was founded in 2010 to provide education and certification work for professionals who wanted to get into connected technology. She says the CREST project is the perfect next step in both educating the next generation of first responders and testing the sensors.

"We started talking about how nice it would be if we could have a conglomerate of different companies that would contribute something to be able to start training our emergency responders how to use some of these connected vehicle technologies," she says. "How can it make their jobs easier? How can it make saving lives faster?

Eventually, she hopes to incorporate drone technology, too, into the array of sensors getting real-time data from the scene of an emergency.

Douglas Smith, executive director for workforce development at Oakland Community College, says Lear has placed the sensors in the buildings and testing will wait until the weather clears up in the springtime. From there, they'll develop training modules for emergency workers.

Oakland County taking steps to retool its mobility workforce

There’s nothing like a challenge to get Oakland County fired up.

The challenge came in the form of a 2017 Connected Mobility Skills Needs Assessment conducted by Oakland County and the Michigan Talent Investment Agency.

The report said that if Oakland County is going to remain competitive in the coming connected mobility revolution, it needs to do a better job of developing and attracting a workforce with the right balance of engineering skills and automotive knowledge.

So local colleges and business groups are rising to meet the goal, by using this report to make improvements or changes to curricula.

Jennifer Llewellyn, manager of Oakland County Workforce Development, says the report surveyed 50 area employers that serve the connected mobility industry, asking them what knowledge, abilities, and skills they look for in potential hires. The report was presented to educational institutions, professional organizations, and business groups around the region.

"Our goal is to ensure Oakland County’s talent pool has the required knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to meet employer demand," Llewellyn says.

The assessment, the fourth in a series of surveys in emerging technology sectors since 2009, is frank in its conclusion that eight major areas need to be addressed before Oakland County can compete with other regions in developing a mobility workforce.

The top area of concern is an "insufficient pipeline of qualified workers." There's not enough local talent with advanced degrees, and those who do, lack experience in the automotive field. This leaves many local companies with no choice but to try to poach workers from other regions. The problem is that Southeast Michigan is still perceived as a region with an outdated manufacturing base, making it harder to compete with other metropolitan areas.

Other problems identified by the survey include educational institutions offering outdated engineering degrees, visa restrictions, deficient connected mobility training programs, and a general antiquated perception of the automotive industry.

The report, while frank in its conclusions, is being used by local institutions to make improvements.

"Oakland University used the data to help shape the curriculum for their Master’s in Systems Engineering," Llewellyn says. "Other entities are reviewing the report and using it to shape future curriculum in the connected mobility space."

The future is now: A glimpse into metro Detroit's mobility ecosystem

If automobiles were biological species, Metro Detroit would be their native biome. And when it comes to mobility technology, the metaphor continues.

Viewed separately, Ann Arbor, the City of Detroit, Macomb County and Oakland County, and each area of the larger Southeast Michigan region may appear to be working separately, even competing in the development of connected and autonomous transportation, each building next-generation mobility technology in individual landscapes.

But a look at the whole picture reveals how each regions’ initiatives join to form a single, complete mobility ecosystem, densely populated with an interconnected web of assets, industries, innovations, and transportation expertise. Together, they are moving people, goods, and services more intelligently and efficiently than ever before.

Metro Detroit’s cohesive mobility landscape is evolving, here in the space where the auto industry began. We wanted to better understand how that's happening across the region, so we took a “hike” across the mobility ecosystem of Southeast Michigan to see what's developing in each individual landscape.

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Emissions Analytics in Pontiac creates consumer-oriented vehicle EQUA Index

Excerpt

Emissions Analytics, a Pontiac-based provider of Portable Emissions Measurements Systems (PEMS), announced the creation of the EQUA Index, designed for the North American vehicle-buying marketplace.

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Delphi Partners with Innoviz Technologies on advanced LiDAR solutions for autonomous vehicles

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Delphi Automotive, a global technology company that operates its North American headquarters in Troy, has announced a commercial partnership agreement with Innoviz Technologies, an Israeli company developing LiDAR technology for the mass commercialization of autonomous vehicles.

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LG Electronics to establish U.S. factory for electric vehicle components in Michigan

LG Electronics Inc. announced plans to establish a U.S. factory for advanced electric vehicle (EV) components in Michigan. The 250,000-square-foot facility, in the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park, Mich., will produce EV components starting in 2018. The project will mean at least 292 new Michigan jobs, including factory workers in Hazel Park and engineers at the expanded LG R&D Center in Troy, Mich.
 
Representing an LG investment of about $25 million, the project is supported by a $2.9 million capital grant under the Michigan Business Development Program over the next four years, as announced today by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. LG also will receive hiring and training assistance from the state, including MI Works support in cooperation with local community colleges, and from the cities of Hazel Park and Troy.
 
“When leading global companies like LG invest in Michigan and create hundreds of good, high-paying jobs here, it speaks volumes about the strong business and mobility climate in the state today,” Governor Rick Snyder said. “LG’s great technological advancements and our outstanding workforce will help pave the way for the vehicles of the future right here in Michigan.”
 
Ken Chang, LG Electronics USA senior vice president and head of the LG Vehicle Components North American Business Center, said, “LG’s initiative to develop and produce world-class EV components in the United States represents a key pillar of our strategy to be the best technology partner to U.S. automakers.”

Vehicle components represent the fastest-growing business of global technology leader LG Electronics. LG’s first-half 2017 global revenues for vehicle components were more than $1.5 billion, a 43 percent increase from the same period last year, thanks in large part to the successful collaboration with General Motors on the popular Chevrolet Bolt EV. Honored by GM as a global supplier of the year, LG Electronics received the coveted 2017 GM Innovation Award.

LG’s jobs and investment commitment in Michigan coincides with two other major LG projects in the United States. The company will soon begin construction on the world’s most advanced production plant for washing machines in Clarksville, Tenn. This $250-million factory will create 600 new U.S jobs by 2019. In addition, construction is under way on the new LG North American Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., a $300-million project that is expected to increase LG’s local employment there from 500 today to more than 1,000 by 2019. 

LTU researching autonomous taxi with gifts from MOBIS, Dataspeed, SoarTech, Realtime Technologies

Lawrence Technological University has begun the research and development of an autonomous campus taxi thanks to donations from several corporate partners.

Hyundai MOBIS, the parts and service division of the Korean automaker, donated $15,000 for the purchase of a Polaris GEM e2 two-seat electric vehicle. Dataspeed Inc., a Rochester Hills engineering firm specializing in mobile robotics and autonomous vehicle technology, converted the vehicle to an autonomous drive-by-wire system. 

Also donating to the effort were a pair of Ann Arbor high-tech firms – Soar Technology Inc. provided a LIDAR (laser-based radar) unit to help the vehicle find its way, while Realtime Technologies Inc., a simulation technology firm, provided a cash donation.

Hyundai MOBIS formally turned the keys of the vehicle over to LTU Provost Maria Vaz and C.J. Chung, professor of computer science, in a ceremony on the LTU campus last week. Vaz thanked the sponsors for providing a great learning and research opportunity. David Agnew, director of advanced engineering at MOBIS, made the presentation.

LTU computer science students have already won an international award with the vehicle. They developed software to make the car operate autonomously – well enough that it took first place in the new Spec 2 division of the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, held at Oakland University in June. The Spec 2 competition required multiple self-driving vehicle functions such as lane following, lane change, traffic sign detection, obstacle avoidance, and left turns.

After winning at IGVC, team members began reprogramming the vehicle to serve as an autonomous taxi on the LTU campus. It’s been rechristened ACT, an acronym for Autonomous Campus Transport/Taxi, in a naming contest won by Nick Paul, one of the team members. Chung said the university is planning to introduce Level 3 autonomy with the vehicle – allowing both hands and eyes off the road – by August 2018.

A video of the car in competition at the IGVC is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSzxPp66vxk&feature=youtu.be

Cheryl Bush picked as manager of Oakland County International Airport

Excerpt: 

Cheryl Bush has been named manager of the second busiest airport in Michigan, Oakland County International Airport. 

Bush, former president of large aircraft flight operations company Aerodynamics Inc., will become the first woman to manage the airport when she steps into her new role on July 12. She will make $107,832 annually.

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BorgWarner develops key technology for hybrid and electric vehicles

Excerpt

Aurburn Hills-based automotive supplier BorgWarner announced the development of a high-voltage temperature coefficient (PTC) cabin heater as a waste heat independent heating solution for electric and hybrid vehicles.

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Nexteer Automotive in Auburn Hills provides advanced cyber security for steering systems

Excerpt

As vehicles become increasingly connected, Auburn Hills-based Nexteer Automotive, a global intuitive motion control company, announced additional steering systems offerings with cyber security technologies to protect against malicious intrusions and unverified steering commands.

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Continental Inc. partners with DigiLens on augmented reality displays

Excerpt

Auburn Hills-based international technology company Continental has entered a strategic partnership with holographic projection technology leader DigiLens Inc., to develop ultra-thin Augmented Reality Head-up Displays for the automotive industry.

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French firms plan visit to Troy to study autonomous vehicles

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An event focused on connected and autonomous vehicles for French businesses looking to gain access to America’s autonomous vehicle market will be held next month at Valeo’s North American headquarters in Troy.

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ITS America 2016 San Jose to open with the next generation workforce student-led V2X Lab

Excerpt

Bringing attention to the Next Gen intelligent transportation workforce, ITS America 2016 San Jose, the new venue highlighting intelligent transportation and integrated mobility, will kick off the three-day event by launching its first-ever V2X High School Lab (V2XHS). San Jose area students will participate with Michigan students in a V2X connected vehicle open, hands-on laboratory where, utilizing a 3D printer, they will design and build their own connected and autonomous vehicles. A news conference to introduce the program will be held Monday, June 13, 9:00 a.m. PDT, at the McEnery Convention Center.

Read more.
 

SPLT launches pilot platform at Magna

SPLT announced that it will launch a pilot rideshare platform with global automotive supplier Magna International. As part of the pilot program, Magna will offer the SPLT rideshare platform to approximately 1,700 of its employees, who commute to and from four of its Southeast Michigan locations.

SPLT is a 2015 Techstars Mobility company that provides an app-based dynamic rideshare platform. SPLT's technology allows co-workers commuting along similar corridors to find one another and share the ride to and from work using their own vehicles. Participants in the program can help reduce carbon emissions and lower their transportation costs, among many other advantages.

Magna is a co-sponsor of the inaugural Techstars Mobility accelerator, which kicked off in Detroit last year. Magna mentored SPLT through the Techstars program, has since helped shape the app to meet corporate needs and recently elected to run the pilot program.

"Working with startups and having the opportunity to mentor companies like SPLT has been a rewarding experience.  The tremendous energy and creativity they bring is inspiring and we get exposed to innovative new technologies and partnering opportunities," saidSwamy Kotagiri, Magna's Chief Technology Officer.  "Ridesharing is certainly a trend that we are learning more about and, by teaming up with SPLT, we can get a better understanding of that market and collect data on consumer mobility needs."

"Magna understood SPLT's value proposition from day one," said Anya Babbitt, CEO & Founder of SPLT. "Magna has helped us design SPLT to fill a crucial need in the corporate commuting space. It's not every day that corporate executives extend their wisdom to startups, but Magna is not typical by any means. We've built a trusting relationship and that's why we are so confident that this pilot will be a success, achieving high user adoption and new data points."

All from the tap of an app, employees enter their schedules and address and are automatically matched with co-workers with SPLT's ride matching algorithm. Click here to learn more about the SPLT platform at Magna and be sure to check out Magna's Techstars Demo Day video to learn more about how the company is supporting the startup community.

Visit the Magna and SPLT webpage at www.SPLTrides.com/magna.

About SPLT
To transform the way people meet and move in every major city worldwide. SPLT provides a social, economical and environmental layer to the transportation system. In short, we strive to help our SPLTRs save money, meet people and help the environment. SPLT is the recent beneficiary of press and national and international awards. Learn more about SPLT at www.SPLTrides.com.

About Magna
Magna is a leading global automotive supplier with 305 manufacturing operations and 95 product development, engineering and sales centres in 29 countries. Magna has over 139,000 employees focused on delivering superior value to our customers through innovative processes and World Class Manufacturing. Learn more about Magna at www.magna.com.  
 
45 Transportation Articles | Page: | Show All
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