Michigan launches ‘Planet M’ campaign to tout mobility

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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: The driverless specially outfitted Audi Q5 sport-utility vehicle is displayed at the Waldorf Astoria following the car's return from a cross country trip, a first for a driverless vehicle, on April 2, 2015 in New York City. Delphi Automotive Plc, a supplier of car electronics, designed the car which covered about 3,500 miles (5,600 kilometers) from San Francisco to the New York City area starting March 22. The car was driverless for all but about 50 miles in a construction zone. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is launching a campaign to promote the state as a hub of innovation in the advancement of self-driving and connected vehicles.

Planet M, as the campaign is called, was unveiled Wednesday at the Mackinac Policy Conference — where Gov. Rick Snyder and business leaders are discussing the convergence of auto manufacturing and “mobility” technology.

Michigan is expected to have two permanent autonomous vehicle testing sites by 2017.

State officials say autonomous and connected vehicles will need to communicate not only with other vehicles on the roads, but also with technology already being installed along some highways, streets and bridges. Drivers could be alerted to weather hazards and road conditions, for instance.

The campaign’s tagline is “Michigan. Where big ideas in mobility are born.”

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