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Dingell Announces $3 Million Grant for Connected & Automated Vehicle Research at University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, MI – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06), along with U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), today announced that the University of Michigan’s Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT) will receive a $3,000,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) University Transportation Centers (UTC) program. UM’s CCAT is advancing transportation expertise and technology in the field of comprehensive transportation safety through education, research, and technology-sharing activities.

“The future of transportation is here, and the University of Michigan is leading the way in researching and developing new technologies that are shaping a safer and smarter future of mobility,” said Congresswoman Dingell, co-chair of the Congressional Autonomous Vehicles Caucus. “This strong grant funding will ensure U-M has the tools to address critical transportation challenges by supporting connected and autonomous technology research and education while preparing the next generation of leaders in transportation. It’s critical that our nation is engaging all stakeholders, making bold investments, and implementing the necessary policies to support the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles.”

“Connected and automated vehicle technology is the future of the auto industry, and Michigan is home to the automakers, suppliers and research institutions that will ensure our state is at the forefront of mobility and innovation. I’m proud to have helped secure this funding that will further support the University of Michigan’s groundbreaking research to advance safety and mobility and ensure that Michigan continues to lead the way in developing the vehicles of the future,” said Senator Peters, Chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight and Ports, who supported the University’s grant application.

“The University of Michigan’s critical research has helped make cars and buses safer, improve roads and bridges, and keep us at the forefront of autonomous vehicle breakthroughs. This investment will help the University and our state continue as global leaders in transportation safety, automobiles, and road infrastructure,” said Senator Stabenow.

"The renewal of CCAT is critical to our mission to bring safe, equitable, and efficient transportation solutions to individuals and communities around the world. Over the next five years, CCAT will continue this vital research with our new partners from Northwestern University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as create more opportunities for underrepresented students through the creation of the INSPiRE (Internship Student Program in Research Engineering) program," said Dr. James Sayer, Director, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

"Over the past six years, CCAT has funded cutting-edge research as the Federal Region 5 University Transportation Center with a focus on connected and automated vehicles and infrastructure. This work has had a profound impact on the U.S. transportation system from reducing traffic congestion to improving the safety of autonomous vehicles. Our partners have engaged with over 400 undergraduate and graduate students and oversaw the creation of a number of new courses, and have collaborated heavily with industry to establish southeast Michigan and the Midwest as the epicenter for connected and automated transportation and mobility," said Dr. Henry Liu, Director, Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT) and Mcity.

The University of Michigan, along with its partners, created CCAT to advance research in the field of transportation safety, mobility, and sustainability via connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles (CAV).

CCAT plays a unique regional role in promoting connected and automated transportation research, education, workforce development, and technology transfer activities, which are of critical importance to the future of the region’s economy and the future of mobility. 

Sample research topics include traffic flow characteristics and operations for mixed streams of CAVs and regular vehicles; transportation infrastructure design and planning for CAVs; cybersecurity management of CAVs and infrastructure; and societal impacts of CAVs in terms of safety, efficiency, and environmental sustainability.

U-M leads a consortium of regional colleges and universities on the project, including Washtenaw Community College, Purdue University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Akron, and Central State University.

The U.S. DOT invests in the future of transportation through its University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program. The UTC Program advances the state-of-the-art in transportation research and technology and develops the next generation of transportation professionals. UTC awards and administers grants to consortia of colleges and universities across the United States.

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