Michigan Technological University hosted the inaugural MOBILITY SUMMIT on April 20, 2017 featuring guest speakers Paul Rogers, Director of the US Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Kirk Steudle and nearly two dozen university researchers.
Rogers opened the Summit focusing on the challenges associated with unmanned vehicles (UV) today, citing the Army’s long history in UV research and development in comparison to industry’s relatively new entry into the field and the steps to be taken before connected/automated (CV/AV) vehicles dominate the roadways.
The attendees then heard presentations from 18 researchers highlighting mobility research at Michigan Tech. Topics ranged from connected and autonomous vehicles to technology enabling mobility, infrastructure, education, cybersecurity and human factors. Researchers from six university departments or centers took part in the presentations.
In addition, a poster session provided the audience with more in depth information on mobility research featuring student and researcher projects, educational opportunities and facilities available at Michigan Tech.
Keynote speaker Kirk Steudle closed the event by outlining Michigan’s Planet M, Govern Snyder’s initiative to recognize Michigan as a leader in mobility and encouraged Michigan Tech to participate in the initiative. Steudle updated attendees on recent legislative actions affecting connected and automated vehicles in the state and highlighted the American Center for Mobility (ACM) as an example of Michigan’s leadership in the field.
The event was organized and sponsored by Michigan Tech’s mobility-affiliated research centers and institutes including the Advanced Power Systems Research Center and Mobile Lab (APSRC), Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) and the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) plus the Vice President of Research Office, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department and the College of Engineering.
Michigan Tech was selected by the US Department of Transportation as one of the seventeen Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers (BTIC) in the nation. According to the DOT, “These Centers will be recognized by the DOT as forward-thinking and influential institutions that are capable of driving solutions to the challenges and trends identified in Beyond Traffic 2045, the US DOT’s report on current and future issues in transportation. The centers will contribute by “convening decision-makers in their megaregion and coordinating related research, curriculum, outreach, and other activities.” The Michigan Tech Center was selected as one of the three universities to serve the rural areas of the United States.
The proposal, led by the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI), collaborated with multiple centers and institutes on campus, including: Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APSRC), Center for Technology & Training (CTT), Keweenaw Research Center (KRC), Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), Rail Transportation Program (RTP), Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) and the Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP). Additionally, numerous individual campus researchers provided information for the submission.
MTTI Director Pasi Lautala (CEE) will serve as the Beyond Traffic Coordinator, participating in future events related to regional development with the USDOT. MTTI is also planning to use the Center as encouragement for faculty, staff and students interested in transportation issues to get involved in working toward solving our nation’s transportation issues.
Further information on Beyond Traffic, including a map of the selected centers, is located here. https://www.transportation.gov/beyondtraffic.
Crain’s Detroit Business News recognized the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute as one of the state’s best assets in Mobility R&D in Michigan.
The Michigan Tech Transportation Institute’s (MTTI) mission is to provide the operating structure, resources, recognition and leadership in a collaborative environment, that supports research, education and outreach leading to sustainable solutions for transportation.
As part of its mission, MTTI is taking the initiative to provide opportunities to learn about other Tech centers, institutes and programs involved in transportation research. MTTI worked with the Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) to offer a tour of their winter testing grounds for all Tech faculty and staff with the goal of learning more about the transportation education/research prospects available and for possible future collaborations.
For more information about testing at the KRC, go to this website.
Timothy Colling (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $90,504 contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.
Nicholas Koszykowski (CEE), is the Co-PI on the project, “2017 MERL Development and Support.” This is a one-year project.