DETROIT, Sept 5 A group of companies, including
several large automakers, have joined a public-private research
initiative to lay the groundwork for a system that wirelessly
connects vehicles and helps smooth the flow of traffic, the
University on Michigan said on Friday.
The university's Mobility Transformation Center will help
develop and implement technology that allows vehicles to talk to
each other and surrounding infrastructure like stoplights to
reduce traffic congestion and vehicle accidents. The program
includes increased use of technology to automate functions like
cruise control and traveling in stop-and-go driving.
The initiative hopes to implement a working connected and
automated car system by 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the
university is based and testing a pilot program, the school
Several companies are each committing $1 million over three
years to establish the center, including General Motors Co
, Ford Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp ,
Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co. The
center is expected to raise as much as $100 million through 2021
for the project, a spokesman said.
Others participating include auto suppliers Delphi
Automotive Plc, Denso Corp and Robert Bosch
GmbH, as well telecommunications group Verizon
Communications Inc, printer and copier maker Xerox Corp
and insurer State Farm, the university said.
In 2012, officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation
and the University of Michigan launched a pilot program to equip
nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses with wireless devices that
track the speed and location of other vehicles, alert drivers to
congestion or change a traffic light to green.
The Mobility Transformation Center will expand the
vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure program to
9,000 vehicles in Ann Arbor and is working with the state to
support a deployment of 20,000 vehicles in southeast Michigan,
the university said.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe
and Nick Zieminski)