Great Lakes Research Center Becomes Newest PlanetM Testing Facility Partner


The Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) at Michigan Technological University (MTU) is the newest PlanetM testing facility partner as a resource available for companies from across the globe to test and deploy connected and automated vehicle technologies on Michigan’s state-of-the-art proving grounds, in the National Airspace System (NAS) or in a freshwater ecosystem.

The Great Lakes Research Center.
The Great Lakes Research Center is the world’s first designated freshwater environment for testing autonomous surface and subsurface vehicles, vessels and related technologies.

A leader in marine-based autonomy for more than 10 years, MTU’s GLRC is home to the Marine Autonomy Research Site (MARS) — the world’s first designated freshwater environment for testing autonomous surface and subsurface vehicles, vessels and related technologies. The site extends in a 30-mile radius from the waterfront campus, encompassing Lake Superior coastline and inland waterways and is open to companies, researchers, government labs, universities and other organizations looking to test the safety and operation of autonomous surface and subsurface vehicles — a unique asset only available in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

"Michigan Tech and the GLRC are proud to partner with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification in developing deeper relationships with maritime autonomy industry partners," said Andrew Barnard, GLRC director.

"The MARS facility, combined with PlanetM testing grants, will help to grow mobility solutions here in Michigan. With direct access to Michigan Tech's world-class researchers, the Great Lakes Research Center, the Keweenaw Waterway, Lake Superior, and partnerships with the U.S. Coast Guard and State of Michigan, we are uniquely positioned to provide expertise and testing services in the area of marine autonomy to a wide variety of industry partners."

“As the first designated maritime mobility testing facility in the world, our partnership with GLRC further solidifies Michigan as the ideal place to take mobility solutions from ideation to production — whether that be by land, air or sea,” said Charlie Tyson, technology activation manager at PlanetM, part of the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. “We’re excited to showcase all this state has to offer when it comes to diversity of testing environments and how, through partners like GLRC, Michigan remains the global epicenter of future mobility.”

 PlanetM Mobility Grants

The PlanetM Mobility Grants, separated into two categories – testing and pilots – encourage mobility startups and corporations to deploy their technologies in Michigan, or prove out their technology at one of the state’s world-class testing facilities including the Keweenaw Research Center and the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Tech.

Michigan-based startup, Strange Development, has received a PlanetM testing grant to test technology that delivers highly efficient, emissions compliant, durable, engine systems with high power to weight ratios at a lower manufacturing cost critical to applications sensitive weight such as drones, EV range extenders, portable generators, powersports equipment and maritime vessels.

“With our close proximity to international borders and fresh waterways, it’s more important than ever to leverage all that our Great Lakes State has to offer,” said Tyson. “These partnerships have enabled opportunities to further strengthen ties between Michigan and Canada which is crucial to the development and deployment of future mobility technologies and policies. We look forward to seeing the exciting innovation brewing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula."

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.