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U-M launches new center to transform mobility

May 20, 2013

The University of Michigan has established the Michigan Mobility Transformation Center as a partnership with government and industry to dramatically improve the safety, sustainability, and accessibility of ways that people and goods move from place to place in our society.

"Rapid advances in such diverse areas as connected vehicle systems, driverless vehicles, shared vehicles, and advanced propulsion systems have brought us to the cusp of a revolution that will transform mobility worldwide," said Stephen Forrest, vice president for research.

"The goal of the MTC is to draw on U-M's broad strengths in engineering, urban planning, energy technology, information technology, policy and social sciences to accelerate progress toward a working system that synthesizes these continuing advances."

According to UMTRI director Peter Sweatman, who serves as director of the new center, emerging technological advances could bring substantial benefits to society.

"Integrating the most promising approaches to mobility into a coordinated system could reduce motor vehicle fatalities and injuries as well as energy consumption and carbon emissions by as much as a factor of ten," Sweatman said. "We also estimate that freight transportation costs could be cut by a factor of three, and the need for parking could go down by a factor of three."

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.

The model deployment will build in part on the $25 million Safety Pilot project now underway at UMTRI.

Read the U-M news release.