Annual CAR Conference Held In TC

Automotive leaders are in Northern Michigan talking about the future of the industry.

Nearly 1,000 people are meeting in Traverse City this week with one goal in mind, how to use technology to advance the industry.

“It’s really hard to bring with old technology, so you’ve got to bring in new high technology,” said Brett Smith, Center for Automotive Research Program Director.

Technology, the key to advancing the auto industry.

“It’s incredibly important to innovate right now,” said Smith. “Government regulations is going to be really very tough for fuel economy over the next few years.”

Right now, the industry is working on making vehicles lighter to improve fuel efficiency.

They are also pushing for an automated car.

“The industry is looking for ways to capture the information as you drive down the street,” said Smith.

And the University of Michigan is working to make this happen.

“The idea is to create a fake downtown, so that these technologies can be tested in a very safe environment before we put them on the road,” said Francine Romine, University of Michigan Director of Marketing and Communications.

But, the most important thing in all of this is safety.

“You have to make sure the vehicle is meeting all the safety standards. The government is continually accessing this technology and creating the pathway,” said Smith.

Smith says it could be another decade before we start to see automated cars on the road.