Participating schools will work together to identify workforce courses and training programs as well as recruitment opportunities, internships, co-op, work study programs and for-credit classes for Academic Consortium students.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said the consortium “represents the exact convergence of talent and education necessary to keep Michigan at the forefront of the automated vehicle movement.”
The not-for-profit ACM has three missions: autonomous and connected vehicle testing and validation; development of voluntary industry standards, and education. Maddox said he sees the consortium as an incubator to address the industry-specific needs.
Participating schools are Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Kettering University, Lawrence Technological University, Macomb Community College, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Washtenaw Community College, Wayne County Community College, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.
The partnership allows schools to pursue their own future mobility efforts. Washtenaw and Macomb community colleges, anticipating the coming mobility revolution, already offer courses that attract recruiters from major suppliers.
“Preparing future technicians to work on these vehicles, the instrumenting of many, many sensors … (and) debugging are all critical needs,” said Kay Stepper, Bosch North America vice president of Driver Assistance Systems and Automated Driving Chassis Systems Control. He has recently visited Macomb and Schoolcraft community colleges.
Maddox said one future career could mirror air traffic control. “Call it an automated vehicle ground traffic controller, someone who monitors a fleet of vehicles for one company or one organization that are working in one geographic area,” he said.
For now, the ACM is working only with Michigan schools but will reach out to others over time. Several schools already have asked to be part of the center.
“Any solution has to be on a national scale and has to be a national imperative,” Maddox said.