My name is Paul Corbett. I am the Director for Government and Community Affairs for MICHauto, and I’m glad to be here on behalf of our over 100 member-investor companies from across the state and the automobility industry.
I’d like to start by thanking you Chairman O’Malley, as well as Rep. Harris, and Rep. Puri for all the work you’ve all done on this issue already and more generally the time and effort you’ve dedicated in the past to issues important to the automotive and mobility industry here in Michigan.
The next generation mobility ecosystem is alive and well in Michigan in no small part due to the action of this body to make our state a leader in autonomous vehicle technology. That important work started in 2016 with the passage of the SAVE Act, which significantly enhanced Michigan’s position in autonomous vehicle research, development, and investment. Since then, Michigan has attracted a wide variety of mobility entrepreneurs and considerable venture capital activity. Indeed, at MICHauto we count among our members several startup companies that came from out of state because they knew Michigan had signaled that it was open for AV business.
We hear from those startup companies all the time; they love Michigan and the history of automotive innovation so integral to our state’s economy. But they also tell us that nothing stymies innovation and growth more than incoherent rules and unpredictable dynamics. Up until this point, we have avoided that fate as Michigan has benefited from bipartisan support for AV innovation and investment. From the previously mentioned SAVE Act signed by Gov. Snyder to E.O. 2020-2 signed by Gov. Whitmer to create the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification.
But to now allow the current law, that is the subject of this hearing, to sunset at the end of this year, would send the exact wrong signal. What was a smooth and predictable path for autonomous mobility innovators in Michigan may be become an unnavigable morass of different rules in every municipality across our state.
Therefore, we at MICHauto strongly support an extension of this sunset and respectfully ask that the committee take quick action to do so.
Thank you very much.