Michigan and Ontario Launch Agreement to Enhance and Modernize Cross-Border Mobility

Source: Grand Haven Board Light & Power, NREL 47493

On August 18, 2021, Governor Whitmer of Michigan announced a new partnership with the Canadian Province of Ontario to advance automotive, transportation, and mobility technologies to help people and goods move safely and efficiently across the border.

The partnership is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Ontario Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network to explore ways to test new automotive, transportation, and mobility solutions.

“Michigan is continuing to lead the way in developing, testing and deploying the solutions that will drive the future of transportation and we are excited to partner with the AVIN team in Ontario to secure the Michigan-Ontario border as the place where cross-border innovations in transportation are born,” said Governor Whitmer. “Through collaborations like this we can build on Michigan’s strength in automotive manufacturing while creating an environment for technology and mobility-related companies to thrive and grow.”

The partnership will seek to meet the following goals:

  • Identifying the potential economic, social and environmental benefits from increased collaboration in transportation and mobility technologies between Ontario and Michigan.
  • Identifying issues and challenges for both people and goods related to specific types of border crossing (by land, air and water) and how mobility technologies could offer solutions.
  • Exploring the regulatory and policy considerations involved.
  • Developing a roadmap for implementation, including steps to establish cross-border pilots for transportation and mobility technologies.

As a first action under the MOU a joint Request for Proposal has been issued, to help study the economic potential of expanded border capacity and examine potential roles for smart mobility or other advanced automotive technologies.

This collaborative mobility initiative complements the EV infrastructure activities spearheaded by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Energy Services, meant to “ensure worry-free electric vehicle travel throughout Michigan by 2030.” To support these efforts, EGLE Energy Services has studied optimized placement of EV chargers to support commuter travel and freight networks, and supports the installation of new infrastructure through Charge Up Michigan and by providing support to cities and businesses interested in installing EV charging.