An Ann Arbor-based nonprofit organization and a board of directors have been formed to handle operations for the new American Center for Mobility.
The center, located in Ypsilanti Township, will help accelerate advanced mobility vehicle development safely while bringing economic opportunity to southeast Michigan and the United States.
The board of directors approved the appointment of John M. Maddox as CEO, effective immediately. Maddox has been serving as assistant director of the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center. MTC operates M city, a connected and automated vehicle test facility on U-M’s North Campus. Maddox will retain a partial appointment with MTC.
Maddox has extensive experience with the U.S. Department of Transportation and in the auto industry. He spearheaded the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s connected vehicle, automated vehicle, cybersecurity, and distraction programs. Before working at NHTSA, Maddox was a compliance officer for Volkswagen Group, and a senior research engineer for Ford Motor Co.
The American Center for Mobility is a joint initiative among the State of Michigan – including the Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan Economic Development Corp., the University of Michigan, Business Leaders for Michigan and Ann Arbor SPARK. The board of directors is comprised of representatives from U-M, Business Leaders for Michigan and SPARK, which initiated the project and will play a key role in economic development tied to the center. Automotive industry and community advisory boards will also be established.
Founding board members include Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan; Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK; Jon Kinsey, assistant vice president for research at U-M, and U-M Mobility Transformation Center Director Huei Peng.
The 335-acre Willow Run site, where B-24 bombers were made during World War II in a factory built by Henry Ford, will become a national-scale advanced automotive testing and product development center that can accommodate the broad needs of industry and government, while providing room to grow and adapt as technology dictates. The center will focus on testing, verification and certification of connected and automated vehicles.
Leaders from major automakers and top suppliers, including Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp., and Robert Bosch GmbH, have expressed support for locating the American Center for Mobility in southeast Michigan, the global center of automotive innovation for more than a century. Industry support is critical to ensuring the center’s success.