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Two New Executive Orders Strengthen Michigan’s Position Atop the Mobility Sector

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two executive orders on February 25, 2020 which strengthen Michigan’s position as a global leader in autonomous and connected vehicle development.

The first executive order directed the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to create a new Michigan Office of Future Mobility to be led by a chief mobility officer. The Office of Future Mobility will be charged with leading the strategic coordination of all mobility-related initiatives across economic development, workforce and infrastructure efforts in the state. One of the Office’s objectives will be to facilitate increased collaboration between public and private sector partners. In her executive order, Gov. Whitmer named several goals for the state as a whole:

  • Drive investment in Michigan’s mobility sector by establishing Michigan as the premier state to build, test, commercialize and scale the technologies that are redefining the field.

  • Protect and strengthen Michigan’s auto manufacturing core by bolstering its national competitiveness and marking a path for its evolution.

  • Encourage entrepreneurship and create an ecosystem that supports young companies as they start up and scale up.

  • Invest in new ways and at new scale in Michigan’s workforce to develop and attract the skills and talent necessary to meet the changing demands of the mobility sector.

  • Expand Michigan’s global leadership in developing the systems and networks necessary for the deployment of connected infrastructure, autonomous technologies, shared transportation and electric vehicles.

The second executive order established a Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification, which will act in an advisory capacity to the governor and Michigan legislature by providing annual recommendations on changes in state policy to ensure Michigan remains a leader in future mobility.

Michigan has already enacted several laws to position itself as a leader in autonomous vehicle development. Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders demonstrate that the legislature and state regulators will work with private sector partners to encourage innovation and investment in the state.

© 2020 Varnum LLP


About this Author

Charumati Ganesh Data Privacy Attorney Varnum

Charu holds a CIPP/US certification and focuses her legal practice on Data Privacy and Cybersecurity. Charu represents clients in a number of industries, including autonomous and connected vehicles and the consumer data marketplace. Charu is able to skillfully navigate the intricacies of the rapidly-evolving data privacy and cybersecurity regulatory landscape and help her clients develop policies and procedures that comply with both international and domestic privacy laws.

Charu has represented clients in the insurance, manufacturing and agricultural industries through regulatory...

Jeffrey M. Stefan II Auto and Emerging Technology Attorney Varnum Law Firm

Jeffrey is a technology-focused corporate attorney with broad legal authority in autonomous and connected vehicles. He previously served as autonomous vehicle counsel for a major global automaker providing regulatory counsel and transactional support. Prior to that role, he supported the automaker's emerging technology portfolio, which included connected vehicle services and other advanced safety technologies.

Jeffrey helps his clients navigate the evolving legal and public policy landscape for new and emerging technologies. He additionally focuses on technology startups assisting them through every stage of their development. Jeffrey is also credentialed as an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional and his practice covers an array of privacy matters.

In addition to his emerging technology practice, Jeffrey handles a wide range of corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, supply chain agreements and other commercial and real estate transactions.