Ford and Google Joined Newlab’s Michigan Central Plans for Mobility Innovation District

Michigan Central has announced its plan for launching a public-private partnership with the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit. Apart from the initial founding member Ford, there is also a new member joining the pioneering mobility innovation district: Google. The two giants would be parts of a diverse group of companies at Michigan Central, defining the future of mobility together based on the established works of one of Birdge Point's portfolio companies, Newlab, a frontier technology innovator.

The station, which was recently purchased by the Ford Motor Company, is going to be renovated by Ford and turned into a hub for Ford automotive technology, along with the neighboring Corktown area.

Partnership with Michigan Central:

Michigan Central, originally an iconic train station, is now converting to a mobility-focused innovation district, supported by Fortune 500 companies, government entities and others. Ford, as one of the first founding members, set its vision on reviving Michigan Central and surround it with possibilities. Google joined with the same idea, and so will the future Founding Members. They will share a mission: support the culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable community development.

In order to fulfill this vision, Google will provide its cloud technology to train the school students and job seekers digitally, helping them to learn coding. Ford, on the other hand, plans to restore the iconic train station as the centerpiece of a 30-acre open innovation platform.

Additionally, there is also a public-private partnership between Michigan Central and the state of Michigan & the city of Detroit. The public entities would make the district a hub for talent, mobility innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, etc. This mission is supported by the state of Michigan, which plans to distribute more than $126 million to fulfill this vision. The city of Detroit Administration would designate a Transportation Innovation Zone inside the district, benefiting and helping companies from corporations to startups to pilot new technology in a safe, real-world scenario.

Founding Member’s Detailed Plan:

The Founding Members would formulate a dynamic research agenda and civic programming that prioritizes the community. Several of important topics, such as reducing pollution and congestion, slowing climate change, enabling access to better education, were specifically addressed in the agenda. For the founding members, they would mentor local entrepreneurs and business to accomplish the goal.

Specifically, Google open a new Code Next Lab at Michigan Central to education high school students about programming. It also partnered with several local non-profits to offer its Google Career Certificate, which equip people with skills for in-demand fields within approximately three to six months.


Founded in 2016, Newlab is a community of entrepreneurs, inventors, and engineers focused on solving the world’s largest challenges. Newlab is comprised of two primary components: their innovation studios and venture studio. Newlab’s 11 innovation studios pair the challenges faced by corporations, cities, and countries with innovators from around the world to enable pilots, solutions, and investments.

Newlab is a cutting-edge innovator that collects talented founders, especially in the transformative technology space. It also helps residence companies to grow by introducing them to industry experts and civic leaders. Newlab has already established a firm partnership with Michigan Central as it aligns public and private sector leaders to pilot new solutions to complex mobility, sustainability and civic challenges. Google and Ford will continue to work on Newlab’s previously established projects .

Michigan Central is positioned to become the global leader in mobility innovation, and to help communities around the world benefit from the increased access, opportunity, and quality of life that mobility makes possible, thanks to a unique mix of disruptive startups, established brands, government partners, and community support.