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Self-driving testing center gets $15 million from Michigan


The additional state funding comes after President Donald Trump’s visit to the site in March. Photo credit: Reuters

A Michigan state government fund on Tuesday approved an additional $15 million for the construction of the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run in Ypsilanti Township, Mich.

The additional funding comes on top of the already approved $20 million for the state-owned connected and autonomous vehicle testbed site.

The funds will be distributed to the nonprofit controlling ACM, the Willow Run Arsenal of Democracy Landholdings LP, to support the construction of the first phase of the project that is expected to end during the fourth quarter of this year.

The Michigan Strategic Fund board also earlier approved a state Renaissance Zone designation that waives property taxes for 15 years, which is worth $1.9 million per year.

The additional state funding comes after President Donald Trump’s visit to the site in March. There, Trump announced plans to re-examine federal fuel economy standards set in place by former President Barack Obama. Trump detailed the review of the standards to a roundtable of business leaders, including General Motors CEO Marry Barra, Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. John Maddox, president and CEO of ACM, was also part of the roundtable.

But the needed federal funding to complete the estimated $80 million project was not discussed.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and members of the project’s board have been lobbying the federal government and the private sector. AT&T is the mobility center’s first corporate partner, which will be the sole provider of cell network service through 2020, investing $4 million.



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