University of Michigan Expands Autonomous Driving Research

By | March 25, 2014
We can't go a week before hearing something about autonomous driving research. In the latest news, the University of Michigan, which has been conducting its own tests on the new technology, announced that it has been given the green light to build a test track for its fleet of automated vehicles. The design was recently cleared by the Board of Regents, which will simulate an urban environment for more thorough testing. This new element has become necessary in the joint project with the industry and government to develop and implement advanced automated vehicles for not only moving people, but also freights on southern Michigan streets by 2021. Peter Sweatman, director of the U-M Mobility Transformation Center and leader of the initiative, said in a recent statement, "Connected and automated vehicles hold great promise for safety improvements, better traffic movement, emissions reduction, energy conservation, and maximized transportation accessibility." The facility will cost roughly $6.5 million to build, and construction should be completed by fall this year, if everything goes smoothly. Along with the new facility, the fleet of autonomous vehicles will expand to 9,000 vehicles, in hopes of deploying an advanced system of 2,000 connected and automated vehicles in Ann Arbor, Mich. S. Jack Hu, interim vice president for research at the University, said that the new facility and testing area will "help position U-M and the region as a whole as a global center for innovation for this emerging technology." Source: University of Michigan