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From Pure Michigan to Planet M: All things mobile in Michigan

By Posted on January 11, 2017

Michele Mueller
Sr. Project Manager, Connected and Automated Vehicles at
Michigan Department of Transportation

The expression “Pure Michigan” is well known to most people within the state, and many outside the area, as the creative campaign that branded Michigan as the nature-filled wonder destination that will soothe the soul. That campaign made an emotional connection as it evoked memories of slower, quieter times and vacations with family and friends on Michigan’s lakes, rivers, and other natural resources.

MEDC, along with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), is promoting Planet M as the embodiment of all things Michigan and mobile. Planet M is also collaborating with other leaders in the autonomous vehicle field; including auto manufacturers and suppliers, world-class universities, local agencies, and industry leaders from both the public and private sectors.

Planet M + You
The efforts to morph into Planet M for the quickly evolving mobility field is more than wanting to be ‘the first’ and much more than an attempt to merge reality with science fiction. Planet M is about connecting all of society, which in turn, could change the world.

The birthplace of the automotive world, Michigan, has already crafted automation; Planet M will now enhance that expertise with ‘intelligence’ as it connects that automation to the people. All of society will benefit from “Planet M” by allowing people to travel safely and smartly. Just as mobile phones evolved into personal hand-held computers, cars are evolving into more than ‘just transportation’. This new-wave connection will enhance the lives of everyone everywhere.

Planet M will combine the current expertise and up-coming talent in Michigan to flourish in the creation and innovation of autonomous mobility. Young Michigan millennials will want to stay in the
state, keeping that talent close to home and working toward the success of our industries; engineering, technical, and big business. The excitement of the rebirth of Detroit and the future connections of the tri-county area of metro Detroit will unite cutting-edge innovation with the rebuilding of the ‘Motor City’. This connection will benefit all areas involved; whether cities, suburban communities, or rural areas, and highlight their exceptional importance to the state’s success.

Planet M allows for the citizens of Michigan to be better-connected consumers. The idea of smart infrastructure will not only enhance the safety of people driving Michigan roads, it also gives room for the expansion of the economy. As travel becomes smarter and safer with Planet M, more people will be able to conveniently travel around the state; spending their money to travel or shop and improve local economies. The elderly and disabled will no longer be held hostage by the lack of freedom as the world of autonomy creates independence and those citizens become more involved with their communities, which benefits everyone.

The technology and innovation Planet M brings, will not only enhance the culture and economy within Michigan, but allow for safer roads and a safer society, as these measures will improve driving conditions and allow for all secure mobility. As of November 2016, there has been over 900 deaths related to traffic. Planet M is working in conjunction with the Towards Zero Deaths campaign. The features and technology from this mobility initiative allows for safer travel for all aspects of transportation; vehicles, motorcycles and even pedestrians.

Planet M is more than a call for jobs or a competition with what other places have to offer in the realm of self-driving cars. This is about Planet M working toward connecting society; to allow the lives of each Michigan citizen to enjoy the ease, safety, and efficiency of this type of mobility, allowing our society to flourish.



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