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Global Symposium on Connected Vehicles and Infrastructure

June 5, 2013

More than 200 people took part in the first Global Symposium on Connected Vehicles and Infrastructure, held May 14-16, at the University of Michigan. UMTRI hosted the inaugural event in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Transportation, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and ITS America.

"V2V communication--cars talking to other cars--is the future of motor vehicle safety," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in opening remarks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that connected-vehicle technology can potentially address 80 percent of motor vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers. NHTSA will issue a regulatory decision later this year on connected-vehicle technology in relation to light vehicles.

Stephen Forrest, U-M vice president for research, also gave introductory remarks. Forrest said connected-vehicle technology holds promise to address environmental, social, and economic challenges and announced formation of the Michigan Mobility Transformation Center (MTC). A key focus of the MTC will be a "model deployment" that will allow researchers to test emerging concepts in connected and automated vehicles and vehicle systems in both off-road and on-road settings. Read the U-M news release.

Following opening comments, the three-day symposium featured more than 30 speakers who addressed a wide range of topics encompassing technical issues, policy implications, and public acceptance of wireless communication between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure. Many speakers highlighted complex issues still to be worked out related to dedicated short range communication (DSRC), cyber security, standards and harmonization, policy development, funding, and a timeline for real-world deployment of connected-vehicle technology.

Despite the challenges ahead, speakers were optimistic about the future of connected vehicles.

"It's not a question of if but when," said Daniel Smith, senior associate administrator for vehicle safety at NHTSA. "The capability is there."

View speaker presentations.

Save the Date: The second, annual Global Symposium on Connected Vehicles and Infrastructure is set for April 21-23, 2014, in Ann Arbor.

Photo: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gives opening remarks at the Global Symposium on Connected Vehicles and Infrastructure. Also shown (from left) are UMTRI director Peter Sweatman, O. Kevin Vincent of NHTSA, Stephen Forrest, U-M vice president for research, and Congressman John Dingell.

Credit: Austin Thomason, Michigan Photography.