Posts Tagged ‘University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI)’

23 August, 2012

This week the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) launched Safety Pilot Model Development, which they said is the largest real-life test to date of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communication.

The year-long study, in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area, involves 2,880 cars, trucks and buses. The vehicles, mostly driven by volunteer participants, are equipped with V2V and V2I communication devices that will gather data about connected vehicle system operability and its effectiveness at reducing crashes.

The vehicles will send messages to and receive messages from other equipped vehicles, transparently, and drivers will receive warnings regarding specific hazardous traffic situations such as an impending collision at a blind intersection, a vehicle changing lanes in another vehicle’s blind spot, or a rear collision with a vehicle stopped ahead.

According to the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), V2V safety technology could help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of four out of five unimpaired vehicle crashes. NHTSA administrator David Strickland said “Vehicle-to-vehicle communication has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in roadway safety – but we need to understand how to apply the technology in an effective way in the real world.” NHTSA will use data from the Safety Pilot Model Deployment to assess future potential for connected vehicle safety technologies. NHTSA plans to determine by 2013 whether to proceed with additional activities involving connected vehicle technology, including possible rulemaking. For more visit

The model deployment is phase two of DOT’s connected vehicle Safety Pilot. Data from driver acceptance clinics conducted during phase one of the Safety Pilot revealed that nine out of ten drivers who experienced V2V technology have a highly favorable opinion of its safety benefits and would like to have V2V features on their personal vehicle.

Firms selected to provide technology for Safety Pilot Model Development include Savari Networks (, Arada Systems (, and Cohda Wireless ( Codha will provide MK2 WAVE/DSRC (Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments/Dedicated Short Range Communications) radios as well as network software and roadside broadcasting units co-developed with Cisco Systems.

The Cohda technology, based on IEEE 802.11p and DSRC, implements the IEEE 1609 network stack and SAE 2735 message library. Cohda chief executive officer Paul Gray said his firm’s devices have been included in V2V trials in the U.S., Australia, Germany, France, and Korea, covering more than 17,000 km and 15 different applications.

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15 September, 2011

Chuck Gulash, the engineer who heads Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC), was asked this week about the connection between the Center, which was formed in January, and the furor over unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. The CSRC, he said, is a direct result of the promise Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda made to Congress and the American people.

The CSRC initiative is operating on an initial funding budget of $50 million over five years. As its name implies, it’s engaged in collaborative research with universities and research institutions for development, testing and implementation of new automotive safety innovations.

The research is focused on (1) reducing driver distraction and (2) protecting vulnerable populations including children, teens, seniors, and pedestrians. Research projects range from driver education and collision mitigation to accident reconstruction and enhanced crash data analysis. During a two-day safety seminar Toyota engineers showed journalists how they test and analyze the impact of a vehicle striking a six-year-old child.

The CSRC has already established partnerships with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). At the safety seminar, Gulash announced ten new research initiatives (for a total of 13) and six new partnerships. The CSRC will collaborate with the MIT AgeLab, The Transportation Active Safety Institute (TASI) at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Virginia Tech, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, and Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Gulash says the CSRC intends to publish as much of the research from its partnerships as possible to make it available to federal agencies, the industry and academia. “This model of sharing the CSRC’s Toyota talent, technology, and data with a broad range of institutions, represents a fundamental change for Toyota, moving away from a traditional focus on proprietary research towards more openly sharing innovations that benefit the automotive industry and society as a whole.”

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