Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On-road auto safety test gearing up for launch

Researchers at the U-M Transportation Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Transportation have set Aug. 21 as the launch date for a year-long test being conducted in Ann Arbor of a wireless communications system designed to improve vehicle safety.

UMTRI researchers now are recruiting and outfitting up to 3,000 private cars, trucks and buses with wireless devices that communicate with each other and similar devices located at intersections, curves and freeway sites in northeast Ann Arbor.

By communicating such data as position and speed, the “connected vehicle” system can alert drivers to potential crash situations, such as a sudden lane change, merging traffic or sudden braking in the lane ahead.

The data generated and archived as part of the $22 million safety pilot model deployment project will be used to inform future policy decisions by the USDOT. It also will be made available to the transportation industry for use in developing additional approaches to vehicle safety, mobility and environmental sustainability.

Information about the project, and how to participate, is available at