Detroit Submits Bid for Amazon's New Headquarters

A newly released ad campaign has taken social media by storm, all in the hopes that one of the biggest companies in the world will make Detroit its new home. A video entitled Detroit. Move Here. Move The World. hit social media on Thursday, October 19, 2017, as part of the official Detroit-Windsor bid to be selected as the location for Amazon’s next headquarters, which is being called HQ2.

Source: YouTube - Detroit Moves HQ

According to the Detroit Free Press, Amazon announced a request for proposals for HQ2 in September of 2017, and since then cities across America have gone into a frenzy hoping to win Amazon’s affection. WXYZ Detroit reported that upon hearing about the competition, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder asked Dan Gilbert to put together a proposal for Detroit. Gilbert is a Detroit businessman and downtown developer, who has been heavily involved in the rebuilding of the city. The deadline to submit proposals was October 19, and the winner will be announced in 2018. Amazon plans on investing $5 billion in their new location, and will employ over 50,000 workers. The full development of the headquarters would be spread out over 15-17 years, and could require as much as 8 million square feet of office space.

According to Crane's Detroit Business, in addition to Gilbert, a 60-person “Amazon committee” was assembled, consisting of business, education, political, and philanthropic leaders. Specific details of the bid regarding tax incentives, mass transportation for employees, and filling such a large talent pool are being held closely guarded by the committee. The video, which has been viewed over 100,000 times on Youtube alone, was put together by journalist and filmmaker Stephen McGee, with a voice over by Detroit-based poet, playwright, and performance artist Jessica Care More. The video features scenes of iconic Detroit locations, businesses, auto manufacturers, and nearby universities.

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The Detroit News reported that Gilbert told the Associated Press that “we feel like we have a lot of advantages. One of them is we’re proposing international headquarters on the border of two North American countries. We’ve got a hedge against any kind of immigration issues that might be on either side because you have two countries. You also have a huge, deep talent base in Canada and special universities.” He also added “we have a lot of transportation advantages because Amazon is sort of a transportation company to some degree. All the stuff with autonomous vehicles and drones and aerospace, there is a lot of that in Detroit.” Detroit's history of vehicle manufacturing, as well as developments of autonomous technology, are central to the bid. The video states that Detroit is “where mobility is born.”

There is still a long and competitive process ahead, as Amazon says over 200 cities have submitted proposals. But should Detroit win the bid, it is hard to overstate how much of a boost to the local economy having a company as large as Amazon setting up shop would be. Detroit is in the middle of a revitalization, and what better way to catapult that by having one of the largest and most influential companies in world make Detroit their new home. For more information on Detroit’s bid, visit, or check out #MoveTheWorld on social media.

With a company as large as Amazon moving into Detroit, tens of thousands of people will be added to the daily commute, meaning more accidents are likely to happen. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation with an expereinced automobile injury lawyer.

Driverless Shuttles Coming to Detroit

Autonomous vehicles may still seem like a thing of the future, but that future is going to be in Detroit sooner than some may expect. Starting this fall, you can see self-driving shuttles transporting passengers throughout the city, but only for a select few riders, and for a very limited amount of time. May Mobility, an Ann Arbor based start-up company, is set to begin testing autonomous vehicles in downtown Detroit in October.

The Detroit News reported that Quicken Loans founder and downtown developer, Dan Gilbert, announced the project at the Technology in Motion conference in Detroit on September 6, 2017. Employees of Gilbert’s companies, Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures, will ride the shuttles back and forth from their offices to parking areas in the central business district. Gilbert said the program is being funded entirely by his company and without any government grants. The shuttles will run from the First National building in Cadillac Square, to the Brick Town parking garage at Beaubien and Fort streets. The set path of the shuttles includes Woodward, Monroe, Beaubien, and East Congress. The shuttles will get a total of 15 hours of testing, operating October 9-13, from 7 PM to 10 PM. All employees of Gilbert's are invited to participate in the program.

Dan Gilbert Detroit Lawyer

While autonomous vehicles have been tested in our city before, this is the first time they will be transporting people. According to Crain's Detroit Business, the company is testing two, six-passenger vehicles that are manufactured by Minnesota based company Polaris. Polaris describes the shuttles as “very comfortable,” with each passenger getting their own door and their own seat. For those who find the idea of a driverless shuttle a bit nerve racking, the company is putting a safety driver on each shuttle. The safety driver will not be operating the vehicle, but can override it if need be. However, the company hopes to not need safety drivers in the future. More so, the company has been driving routes in central Detroit for months, in order to gather as much data as possible.

These aren’t the first autonomous passenger shuttles to come to Southeast Michigan. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC recently wrote about driverless shuttles at the University of Michigan. Starting this fall, 15-passenger autonomous shuttles that can reach speeds of up to 35 mph have been providing students with a new way to get to class. The shuttles travel between University of Michigan's North Campus (home to MCity, a testing ground for autonomous vehicles) and a nearby university research facility. The shuttles are being used to test consumer reaction to and acceptance of autonomous technology on the road.

Michigan Autonomous Vehicle Lawyer

While the shuttles coming to Detroit are only going to be tested for a short time, they signify a larger step forward for autonomous technology. This small glance into the world of driverless vehicles in Detroit could be the beginning of something we start to see much more often. While the hope is that autonomous technology can cut down on the number of automobile accidents due to human error, there is likely still a ways to go until we reach a time with self-driving cars and no automobile accidents. However, corporations willing to invest in this technology, coupled with car manufacturers and automotive technology developers in and near Detroit, make the city the perfect playground for self driving vehicles, and can propel us forward to safer roads.

The rapidly increasing progress of autonomous vehicle technology is exciting, but it also presents challenges to drivers and traffic laws we have never seen before. As with any new automotive technology, driver safety is the most important thing. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with an experienced car accident attorney.

Detroit's Potential MLS Franchise Creates A Potential Traffic Nightmare

All the buzz in Detroit, Michigan lately has been about sports. The Tigers have started their season, the Red Wings and Pistons made the playoffs, the Lions have their new class of players, and rumors of a Detroit MLS franchise spark controversy. On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, it was announced by a number of news outlets that Detroit billionaire and owner of Quicken Loans, Dan Gilbert, is entering a joint venture with current Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, to invest in a stadium at the current site of the Wayne County jail on Gratiot Avenue in downtown Detroit, for the use of soccer, rugby, or lacrosse. Although these are still just rumors, it has many Detroiters wondering what may become of this investment.

Detroit MLS Soccer Team

The MLS typically has its season starting in March and ending in October. This overlaps with the MLB, which typically runs from April through October, the NFL, which typically runs from September through February, and the NHL, which typically runs from October through April. This means that during any one month, there are at least two Detroit sports teams currently contending in their leagues, which potentially means home games in Detroit. (Although the Detroit Pistons currently play in Auburn Hills, there has been rumor of their move back to Detroit in the not too distant future.) This would mean that there could be 5 major league sports teams playing within a 10-15 minute walk of one another, and considering the Pistons also play from October through April, this could really lead to some traffic woes for sports fans and Detroiters living and commuting in the area.

The unification of all of these teams in downtown Detroit would really put stress on major roadways like Woodward, Jefferson, Gratiot, and Michigan Avenues. This would also put a lot of traffic on the major highways near downtown, such as I-75, I-375, I-94, I-96, The Lodge, and all of their tributaries, before and after games. With most people coming to sporting events in Detroit not living downtown, this really puts a lot of pressure on these roadways, and on other services like restaurants, public transportation, and hotels as well. The completion of the M-1 Rail, or QLine, will drastically help the traffic issue, but will still only take a small chunk out of the thousands of Detroit sports fans attempting to get into the city on game day. 

Increased game day traffic is an issue because accidents often happen when people are frustrated by built up traffic. Stop and go traffic leads to drivers not paying attention and bumping into one another and road rage car crashes. Traffic in downtown areas can also lead to pedestrian and bicycle accidents. City streets are not typically jammed packed in Detroit, and many drivers are not used to driving in a city like Detroit, with its many one way streets and multiple stop signs, and Michigan lefts. This can lead to confusion and accidents between cars, pedestrians and cars, bicyclists and cars, and even pedestrians and bicycles.

Although, by ramping up police enforcement on game days and increasing public transportation from areas in which sports fans are coming from, the city may be able to curb this traffic issue that is now looming with the potential for two new teams moving into downtown Detroit (MLS and the return of the Pistons). However, this is not a guarantee, and even if it were, accident are still bound to happen.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, including those involving pedestrian and bicycle crashes. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.