DETROIT—Wayne State University is partnering with the Michigan Mobility Institute to create a new mobility center focused on autonomous driving, connectivity, smart infrastructure and electrification.
The Center for Advanced Mobility will be folded into the Detroit-based university's College of Engineering. and is set to launch this fall with new course work being rolled out gradually, said Jessica Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Mobility Institute. It will offer a master of science degree in robotics beginning fall 2020.
The center will be housed in the school's 45,000-sq.-ft. Industry Innovation Center, which the university bought last year, in the city's TechTown neighborhood.
The Michigan Mobility Institute, which is the marquee initiative of nonprofit Detroit Mobility Lab, will advise Wayne State on its mobility curriculum through partnerships with companies in Southeast Michigan and beyond, Robinson said. The classes will be administered by Wayne State. The goal is to create a bridge between the classroom and field by "bringing together OEMs, suppliers and startups."
"They are the ones on the front lines experiencing talent shortages, and they're best positioned to guide us on what those top skills in-demand are," Robinson said.
She said the center is working to develop corporate partnerships and has several already in place. The Michigan Mobility Institute advisory board includes executives from Aptiv P.L.C. and May Mobility Inc.
The project "represents something of immense consequence: the creation of a world leading center for mobility in the heart of Detroit by institutions and leaders who call Detroit home," Chris Thomas, president and co-founder of the Detroit Mobility Lab, said in the release.
The Detroit Mobility Lab is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the creation of a mobility ecosystem in Detroit. Last year, it launched the Michigan Mobility Institute to train students in "artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity and other fields vital to ensuring Detroit's relevance as a global center for future mobility," according to its website.
The center will offer a broad set of degrees and certifications related to mobility, the release said.
Robinson said the center has not set a baseline for how many students it aims to attract. She said its purpose is to prepare students for jobs of the future and to help boost enrollment at Wayne State.