Mobility is a critical topic for communities, businesses, and average citizens as they contemplate forthcoming changes in technology, work, and quality of life. To date, these mobility discussions most frequently center on large, urban environments. While the largest effects of advanced transportation and mobility technologies will likely occur in these more densely-populated regions, small-to-medium sized communities also face challenges and opportunities related to the evolution of mobility. These communities want and need information and guidance related to how they might play a larger role in the mobility revolution.

Saginaw, Michigan is one community keenly interested in playing a larger role in the future of mobility. The Saginaw region has sought guidance from CAR and, with support from Saginaw Future, Nexteer, the City of Saginaw, and the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce, CAR conducted research focused on how the Saginaw region can encourage on-road connected and automated vehicle (CAV) testing. CAR’s findings suggest that communities have several strategies at their disposal to encourage CAV testing in their regions and welcome mobility services that could help their residents take part in these changes.

In CAR’s recent report Opportunities to Encourage On-road Connected and Automated Vehicle Testing, CAR researchers identified several recommendations, both short and long-term, for the Saginaw region to consider. Short-term recommendations include identifying roadways that are conducive to testing and enacting local policies that signal the community’s interest in advanced transportation technologies to residents, companies, and other relevant parties. Communities can also form partnerships with mobility technology companies to solve regional challenges, such as carpooling and providing real-time bus tracking information. Long-term recommendations include contributing to advanced digital maps by providing data on road closures and work zones and certifying certain roads as being appropriate for automated driving.

To get more information about growth and opportunities for CAV technology in Southeast Michigan and to read the full report, click here.

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