University of Michigan Ramps Up Connected Car Research

University of Michigan Ramps Up Connected Car Research

The University of Michigan is getting ready to invest heavily into connected car technology in the U.S.

The university’s Board of Regents will be approving a new project that will help make the university one of the centers for the study of connected car technology in North America. According to Jim Sayer of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the rapid development of connected vehicle technology and its benefits to improving transportation safety, driver accessibility, optimize mobility and reduce vehicle crashes is compelling.

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The new Mobility Transportation Center will be located on the university’s campus and will be supported by the university, the State of Michigan and several corporate backers with an interest in the technology. The objective of the project is to create a closed course on campus that will be easily accessible to students so that experiments in both connected vehicles and automated vehicles can be conducted.

The goal of the program is to cover the entire city of Ann Arbor, Mich. and include over 9,000 vehicles by 2016. Looking into the future, plans call for 2,000 highly automated vehicles to be put on the road in Ann Arbor by 2021.

Late last month, UMTRI announced its plan to continue its connected car research experiment, which began in the fall of 2012. That project was extended by NHTSA, it’s main financial backer, for an additional six months. Most of the funding for the new project will come from corporate sponsors although Sayer says the U.S. Department of Transportation will continue funding the current project, which covers 73 miles of road in Ann Arbor and has 3,000 connected vehicles on the road gathering data.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau]