Ontario, Michigan partnering on cross-border transport tech

Ontario and Michigan are expanding their collaboration through a new partnership to advance automotive, transportation and mobility technologies to help people and goods move safely and efficiently across the border by land, air and water, a news release said Wednesday.

The Ontario government, through Ontario’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, and the State of Michigan, through the Michigan Department of Transportation, have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the implementation of a cross-border testing environment that will further support the commercialization and adoption of auto and transportation technologies in Ontario.

Goals of the collaboration include:

  • Identifying the potential economic, social and environmental benefits from increased collaboration in automotive and transportation 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 transportation 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 technologies.

Combined, Ontario and Michigan are responsible for about 22 per cent of North America’s automotive output. The state and province share a highly integrated automotive supply chain, with vehicle parts crossing the border several times before rolling off the assembly line in finished vehicles. For 2020, two-way goods trade between Michigan and Ontario was valued at $60.1 billion.

A joint request for proposals (RFP) is now underway to study and analyze the economic potential of expanded border capacity and other benefits that can be achieved by leveraging advanced automotive and smart mobility solutions at international border crossings. The closing date for RFP submissions is Sept. 13.