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Forging a New Future with the Autonomous Car

Michigan Business Beat
December 20, 2016 2:00 PM


Chris Holman welcomes back Carol L. Cain, CBS 62 Senior Producer & Detroit Free Press Columnist, Host, Michigan Matters, Detroit, for a Monthly Update. This time around focused on Mobility.  Carol recently had an experience with advanced mobility and shared that experience. The Chrysler 300 looked innocent enough as it drove to the front of Continental’s North American headquarters in Auburn Hills where it parked and awaited to take me (Carol) nervously into the future.

You wouldn’t have known it was an autonomous vehicle at first glance except for the sensors atop and alongside the car that have 360-degree viewing capability. They were put on the car by Continental, a German supplier known for its tires.

Like so many companies right now, Continental is expanding and forging a new future tied to cutting-edge technology to help automakers on their path to self-driving cars.

The vehicle markings were gone, but anyone in the Motor City who appreciates cars would know in an instant the sleek black vehicle was a 300.

Steffen Hartmann, a millennial who works as a vehicle test engineer at Continental, stepped out of the vehicle with a smile and proceeded to explain to me and my crew how the technology and sensors work.

Hartmann is one of the company’s point people charged with taking luminaries on test drives, showing them what it’s like to be in an autonomous car on an actual freeway.

Carol has been working on CBS 62's “Eye on the Future,” a 30-minute TV segment called “Giving Up the Wheel ... a Look at our Autonomous Future” and talking to numerous companies and leaders who want to keep Michigan out front in this area — folks like Gov. Rick Snyder, Mary Barra, Bill Ford, Rod Alberts and others. 


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Michigan Business Beat, hosted by Chris Holman, discusses economic development, new or unusual entrepreneurial initiatives, and successful business practices from different regions and industries around Michigan with a wide range of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

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