At today’s Mackinac Policy Conference, Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford calls for key policy reform and the need to foster innovation as critical to ensuring Michigan’s competitiveness and creating new, high-tech jobs.
Ford told delegates that the trends emerging in manufacturing, green technology and mobility demonstrate a great opportunity for Michigan to create a dynamic, diverse and growing economy that affirms the state as a global innovation center.
Ford discussed the need to not only diversify Michigan’s economy but also build on its manufacturing history.
While great strides have been made with green technology, Ford also discussed the pressures of a growing global population and the new challenge of global gridlock – the potential that the world will face a never-ending traffic jam that wastes time, energy and resources.
Ford outlined the company’s vision to address this global challenge in the company’s Blueprint for Mobility, announced earlier this year.
He also described urban mobility as the greatest opportunity for Michigan. Ford believes that tackling this challenge will pave a future for Michigan akin to the birth of a new Silicon Valley.
“To address this issue, we will once again need new technologies, as well as new ways of looking at the world,” explained Ford. “We will need to view the automobile as one element of a transportation ecosystem.”
Integrating the automobile with this new transportation ecosystem will require an incredible variety of high-tech and policy jobs, which should be based in Michigan, according to Ford.
“This technology is in varying stages of development and deployment, but it promises to radically transform the experience of driving,” said Ford. “As it develops, I believe Michigan must become the Silicon Valley of the mobility revolution.”