Research & Projects

New Funded projects on New Mobility Industry Analysis, Economic Mapping, and Consumer Uptake

SMART’s New Mobility industry and entrepreneurship-related work has gained even more momentum thanks to Ford Motor Company and NEXTRANS Federal UTC Partnership Funding.

Four separate but related SMART projects work to better understand and advance the emerging New Mobility industry. They include:

Industry Analysis1. The New Mobility Industry Analysis project, led by the Ross School’s Peter Adriaens along with Ford and SMART leads aims to understand the emergence of the New Mobility industry and to build an analysis framework to predict its evolution. It is gratefully supported by a Ford Motor Company URP grant.

Mobi2. The Mobi Enterprise Bank, also led by Peter Adriaens at Ross along with Ford and SMART leads is developing a robust interactive platform including a database of global entrepreneurial New Mobility solutions. This will serve entrepreneurs and partner businesses alike. It is supported by a Ford Motor Company URP grant.

Mapping Ford3. The Economic Mapping project, led by Geoffrey Thun along with Ford and SMART leads at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is developing a data-driven mapping platform for assessing local and regional emerging industry cluster development opportunities as well as economic development, employment, and entrepreneurship, related to New Mobility. It is supported by the NEXTRANS Federal UTC Partnership and by a Ford Motor URP grant.

Consumer Uptake4. The Consumer Choice in a Multi-Modal Transportation Environment project, led by Richard Gonzalez of ISR and David Chock of UMTRI along with Ford and SMART leads looks at new models of decision making related to New Mobility and helps to evaluate multi-modal options and systems, their impact on consumer uptake, and potential innovation opportunities. It is supported by a Ford Alliance project.

Some of these projects will be presented at the upcoming research sessions.

If you’re interested in learning more but can’t make the meeting, email SMART at:

SMART Collaboration with the Emergent Institute


SMART is fortunate to collaborate with the Emergent Institute, an initiative of Stu Hart, founder of KEMP which became the Erb Institute. The Emergent Institute aims to dramatically increase the rate and success of Green Leap Innovation, both through corporate initiatives and new ventures by assembling a complete innovation ecosystem to foster the creation of tomorrow’s distributed and sustainable infrastructure.

SMART collaborated with Emergent Institute and TiE Bangalore to hold a session on New Mobility entrepreneurship in Bangalore, India. In this session, New Mobility entrepreneurs and enterprises from IT, energy, manufacturing and products, service, retail, goods movement, tourism, and more heard from each other, collectively identifying shared development opportunities and challenges, and envisioned and refined the kinds of systems and supports that can turn those challenges into business opportunities and new business models. The evening also marked the launch of the New Mobility Cluster – a working group comprising necessary stakeholders in the New Mobility space to take action on opportunities and challenges in India.

If you are interested in entrepreneurial opportunities in India, contact

Summer Video Tour

This past summer UM Graham Scholars Rebecca Guerriero and Logan Chadde constituted SMART’s bare bones film crew in China, India, Brazil, The Philippines,  South Africa, and the US including the Detroit region. Their SMART research  mission was to meet with and film interviews with New Mobility innovators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders that would contribute to several SMART projects including the NCIIA innovation course led by Ross professor Peter Adriaens; an 18-month Masters project on New Mobility innovation and entrepreneurship; the Mobi Prize and Platform and other SMART related research and education.

Their goal was to experience, document, and promote New Mobility and related industry and enterprise opportunities in an accessible, vibrant, new and exciting way and to contribute to a greater awareness and understanding of integrated sustainable transportation solutions around the world.

SMART is in the process of uploading the interview videos on SMART TV. For starters, have a look at these two videos from China:

Yin and Yang: New Mobility Development in Detroit and Beijing (Findings and Future Directions) written by John Austin commissioned for SMART’s Alcoa Foundation-supported New Mobility Solutions Project

This short report compares and contrasts the new mobility development dynamics in both the Beijing and Detroit city-regions, identifying key drivers of new mobility development and deployment. It contrasts the challenges and obstacles to New Mobility system- and sector-building in each, alongside the unique opportunities both regions have to accelerate their efforts. The report further identifies research and action important to support continued, perhaps even scaled up New Mobility system and sector building in both communities, and draws out lessons from Beijing’s and Detroit’s experience that can hopefully inform New Mobility system-building and enterprise development in regions worldwide.

For more information contact

Reverse innovation opportunities in New Mobility: Advancing applications in the Detroit and Beijing regions written by Peter Adriaens commissioned for SMART’s Alcoa Foundation-funded New Mobility Solutions Project

From the knowledge spillover in manufacturing to the shifting consumer base characteristics, the author identifies the major market forces, policies and trends that are shaping Reverse Innovation (also often referred to as frugal innovation or cost innovation) opportunities in the New Mobility Industry for Detroit and Beijing region and the transferability of New Mobility products and services between developed and developing nations.

For more information contact

Catalyzing the New Mobility in cities: Report on the State and Potential of new Business Models for New Mobility Solutions Globally by SMART (John Austin and Sue Zielinski) with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation

This report documents the recent evolution of the global New Mobility industry and its potential roles in serving all users including the urban poor and vulnerable. It includes challenges and trends, opportunities, new conceptual frameworks and promising examples. It also makes recommendations for replicating and scaling emerging business models, integration models, policy models and new narratives through (among other things) strategic demonstrations and supportive and catalytic platforms for action.

For more information contact