GM's Reuss Right On with Vision of Detroit as Transportation Innovation Hub
GM's Shanghai Expo award-winning networked electric vehicle EN-V is shown in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
No vehicle manufacturer, unless they make horse drawn buggies, can count on sales on Mackinac Island.
But the iconic jewel in the straits between lakes Michigan and Huron is the birthplace of ideas that may make the U.S. vehicle market even more vibrant.
In a vision for the future, General Motors North American President Mark Reuss projected a sparkling view of the future of manufacturing and technology at the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce annual conference Thursday.
Mr. Reuss sees unprecedented cooperation among government and non-government entities bringing a rebirth to Detroit making the old Motor City a national leader in transportation innovation and sustainability.
One possibility, he said, was a new transportation universe that would include GM's EN-V electric networked vehicle that was an award-winning attraction during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
"Detroit?s perfect for a sustainable system of personal mobility units, operating autonomously, charging in charging stations, parking in dedicated parking centers, and, importantly, linking in with existing modes of mass transit" said Mr. Reuss.
On the horizon is the M1 light rail system going up on Woodward Avenue and a proposal to connect Detroit and Chicago with high-speed rail.
Mr. Reuss queried: "What if we added infrastructure at the same time to test a program like EN-V?
"It would really combine the best aspects of personal mobility and mass transit.
"You get your alone time, on your own schedule, with a place for your stuff, with no driving required and no parking hassles.
"Detroit has the open spaces, the need to rebuild, the need to innovate, and the will to lead, that makes it a perfect place to try this, in my opinion.
"And what if we did, you know what would happen? Other cities may just line up to follow suit."
A passenger could get into one of these EN-V pods, connect it to a bus downtown and to a train to get up Woodward to parts north. Or onto a high-speed train to get you to Chicago for lunch.
The city and the region would sport the most efficient traffic flow and use of limited parking space that could possibly be, he theorized.
The exciting prospects sketched by Mr. Reuss should give all Michiganians hope for the future. We'll be anxiously watching for follow-up.
Columns Article 5965
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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