The University of Michigan took another step forward in bolstering connected-vehicle research in the region by announcing plans to triple the number of intelligent vehicles in Ann Arbor over the next two years to 9,000.
The town has become a major hub for connected-vehicle and self-driving technology since the university and U.S. DOT began a connected-vehicle model deployment in 2012. Researchers have been studying data from 3,000 cars equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology as they navigate the streets of Ann Arbor. In total, participants have taken more than 4 million trips over almost 25 million miles since the study began.
University researchers are pushing for the increase to better understand how V2V technology will perform in a large-scale deployment, closer to true widespread, everyday use.
Tuesday’s announcement comes on the heels of a decision by the university’s Board of Regents last week to approve final design for a new $6.5 million connected-vehicle test track.
The University of Michigan is hoping that all of these elements taken together will draw further investment into the technology. They expect total spending on V2V technology in the region to reach $100 million by 2022, with roughly 50% coming from the automotive industry.
The university is committed to spending $16 million on intelligent vehicle technology in the next four years.