By Gary Thomas
Green and smart technologies are required for rebuilding the economy in Michigan and could make it the Silicon Valley of mobility.
At the Mackinac Policy Conference, Bill Ford, the Executive Chairman of Ford Motor, has called for significant reforms to retain the competitiveness of Michigan.
Integration of communications and vehicle technologies can help Michigan address issues with urban mobility. Creation of more high-tech jobs could make Michigan as the Silicon Valley of mobility. The company has announced a partnership with TechTown, AutoHarvest and TechShop called as the Motor City Innovation Exchange for encouraging entrepreneurs and innovators in Michigan.
Michigan must diversify its economy and also grow on its experience in the manufacturing sector. The auto sector creates the most number of spinoff jobs, he said. Ford has made advancements in green technology and is building electric vehicles and battery packs in Michigan with an investment around a billion dollars.
Ford had earlier announced its Blueprint for Mobility which will help in addressing the global challenge facing urban mobility. The increasing global population may result in a global gridlock that may lead to a never-ending traffic jam, which in turn, may waste energy, resources and time. The automobile must be considered as a single element of the transportation ecosystem, and its integration will create numerous high-tech jobs, he stated.
In order to make Michigan competitive, policies should be modified to increase prosperity and innovation. Ford called for modernizing the electric grid and proposed elimination of personal property taxes.