US: automakers supporting autonomous and connected advancements at the University of Michigan image

Most of the global automakers have embarked into a form of research or development towards the next generation of vehicles: automated cars or the ones equipped with technology to communicate with other vehicles, or sometimes both.

So, there’s no wonder that the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center, deeply connected in the process of researching and developing connected and/or autonomous cars receives massive support from the carmakers.

“We are on the threshold of a transformation in mobility that the world hasn’t seen since the introduction of the automobile a century ago,” said Dr. Peter Sweatman, director of the MTC.

Delphi, Denso, Econolite, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Iteris, Nissan, Robert Bosch, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, Toyota, Verizon and Xerox have formed what they call the Leadership Circle. The organization has planned investments of $1 million over the course of three years to help the MTC.

The Mobility Transformation Center is currently involved into a US Department of Transportation (DOT)-sponsored test program that is called the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment. It includes no less than 3,000 cars and aims to demonstrate the level of progress with connected-vehicle technologies in a real-world, multimodal environment. The facility – named the Mobility Transformation Facility – has 73 miles of roads in northern Ann Arbor, Michigan and should open its premises this fall.