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Gov. Whitmer launches contest to encourage auto tech innovation

Whitmer for Governor

Governor Gretchen Whitmer used a business conference on Mackinac Island to unveil a contest on Wednesday. The goal is to develop the next generation of vehicles that will move people from place to place.

The Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce always puts the future of transportation and the auto industry at the center of the discussion at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Whitmer says this was the right place and time to throw down a challenge with development money to back it up.

“I think we’re going to have a lot of really phenomenal ideas that come forward as a result of this, and we’re going to inspire an industry to grow here in Michigan,” she says.                 

Whitmer says the goal is to keep Michigan in a leading position in creating and building the cars and trucks that will move goods and people.

“We don’t want to pre-judge because the creativity and the research and development is pushing the boundaries beyond anything that any of us can come up with,” says Whitmer. "You’ll see some wonderful ideas come out of this as a result, and wonderful solutions that have been vexing us as a country in terms of moving people.”

The incentives total eight million dollars.

Whitmer says she’d like to see some of the ideas put to work as pilot projects to transport visitors attending next year’s auto show in Detroit. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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