Oakland County Aims to Deploy World’s First Connected Car System


Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has formed a task force charged with helping the county become the first in the world to deploy a countywide connected car system — where vehicles transmit data about their location and road infrastructure to other vehicles.

“If successful, I will be placing Oakland County on the global map as the first county in the world to initiate a countywide connected car ecosystem,” Patterson said Wednesday during his 20th State of the County address at Centerpoint Marriott in Pontiac. “This initiative demonstrates our bold thinking and the potential for job growth is staggering.”

The three business leaders appointed to the committee include Fred Nader, founder and president of AutoTech Technology Development Inc.; Elaina Farnsworth, CEO of Mobile Comply; and Paul Haelterman, vice president and managing director of IHS Automotive Advisory Services.

“This task force of industry experts, in mobile, manufacturing, and automotive will be meeting with automakers, tier one suppliers, and other stakeholders to design how we can best train people to operate and deploy a connected vehicle system throughout Oakland County,” Patterson said.

Pursuing connected car technology was one of five major initiatives that Patterson touched on during his address. He also announced the county’s plans to attract more information technology jobs and companies, noting that 20 metro Detroit IT companies have formed OakTech Connect, a focus group that will be modeled after Medical Main Street and Automation Alley.

The county will also launch the Homeless Healthcare Collaboration, which seeks to improve health care for homeless individuals and families, and the G2G marketplace, which provides governments with a way to research, purchase, and implement technology solutions and professional services through an online store experience.

Patterson also noted that Oakland County will be the first local government in Michigan to join “Fuel Up To Play 60,” a program founded by the National Dairy Council and National Football League in collaboration with the USDA. Through the program, students can win rewards, like a visit from a NFL player or tickets to the Super Bowl, for choosing nutritious foods and getting active for at least 60 minutes every day.

“The program is easily customizable and non-prescriptive — you choose what works for your school and to which degree you are involved,” Patterson said.