Michigan leading world in mobility, autonomous cars: Gov. Snyder

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said Tuesday that using technology to build autonomous vehicles is about improving people’s lives.

“It’s not just about technology, it’s about benefits, it will save lives, it’s about safety, it’s about opportunity. It will help people that may not have access to vehicles or can’t drive to have transportation now and it’s about efficiency about using our infrastructure smarter,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

Snyder believes that self-driving cars are coming faster than people think and has passed legislation to help speed up the process.

“We’re leading the world now with our test facility. We just did the America Center for Mobility, over 500 acres of the world’s best test sight. We’re using our highways today for that, I signed legislation in a law to allow this to happen,” he said.

Synder said that people should keep in mind these three things when thinking about the automotive industry as autonomous vehicles become more prominent.

“One, is mobility which there are autonomous connected vehicles, we’re leading the world in that. [Second is] internal combustion and diesel still have important roles, there is not one answer in that field and the third area people often overlook are advanced materials, look at new aluminum vehicles, look at composites now,” he said.

In 2009, Congress created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), to help bail out some of the largest automotive companies in need of financial assistance. According to the U.S. Treasury, taxpayers lost $9.26 billion on the U.S. government’s program to rescue the automotive industry.

The Michigan Governor acknowledged the auto industry’s comeback and discussed why it wasn’t any single companies fault.

“It wasn’t just about one or two companies, it was about the industry potentially collapsing, so it was one of those unique cases where it was important to support the industry, it worked our successfully, the auto industry is thriving today,” he said. “[Companies] added so many great jobs in Michigan; we’re leading the country in the creation of manufacturing jobs [and] leading in research and development.”