The American Center for Mobility (ACM) was built with the vision to create a shared-use facility for the acceleration of emerging connected and automated vehicle technologies, including a 500-acre smart mobility test center and innovation campus. This vision was driven by local and state economic development organizations looking for a way to once again, make Willow Run a landmark destination for business. In December of 2021, ACM celebrated four years since opening its doors to the public, and a break-out year. ACM is living up to its vision, making an impact on the mobility industry, and the community.
Over 13,000 customers, guests and employees have passed through the ACM smart mobility test center security gates since 2017, with a focus on the research, testing and validation of technologies aimed at making transportation more safe, accessible, and sustainable. There is more than just testing going on. Companies are transporting vehicles, executives, and delegations to ACM to demonstrate technologies, and convene on topics with global impact. ACM acts as a magnet, and surrounding small businesses such as gas stations, banks, stores, restaurants, caterers, and hotels throughout Ypsilanti Township and neighboring areas are the first to feel an impact, and it is no accident. “In 2021, Katherine’s Catering serviced events at ACM, and we know it is because the ACM team made an effort to recommend us to their clients.”, says Katherine Hilboldt Farrell, President and co-founder of Katherine’s Catering in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Supporting local businesses is a great idea, even better when companies like ACM make an effort to put those words into action.” Katherine’s Catering is one example of the commitment ACM has toward the local community. In 2022, ACM is building a reference book of local resources for onsite customers and residents.
The increase in activity at ACM was due in large part to how they leaned-in on strategic relationships like Daimler Trucks who invested in the buildout of an off-road environment that will be used to demonstrate and showcase vehicle capabilities. ACM also maxed out capacity on existing vehicle garage laboratories with the signing of both EMU’s GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology and Perrone Robotics. ACM rounded out 2021 by announcing an on-site expansion of founding partner, Toyota. To help in planning the next phase of facility growth and beautification, ACM has been conducting workshops and a recent survey. Results show that in addition to ongoing demand for testing and garage laboratories, companies are looking for B2B exposure and engagement. In response, ACM is launching Partnership Marketing, providing new exposure opportunities through onsite and digital branding, in-field demonstrations, and networking events. Campus planning is still in process.
One thing is for sure, ACM’s facility and expertise is in demand, and driving new business to the State, the region, and the community that potentially would have gone elsewhere. “Over the past four years the ACM team, partners, stakeholders and the local community have proven how much opportunity there is for Michigan to lead the mobility march when we all work together.” says ACM president & CEO Reuben Sarkar, “As ACM grows, we will continue to be committed to pursuing new opportunities to collaborate, and to supporting the local community.” Companies interested in listing in the ACM local resource book, exploring Partnership Marketing opportunities, or booking the facility for events can CONTACT ACM.