Virginia Tech Transportation Institute receives $15M in federal grants
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) announced Wednesday that it will receive $15 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation to study how to safely integrate autonomous vehicles onto U.S. roads and highways.
“As one of our premier research centers, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute continues to lead and innovate in autonomous technologies and vehicle safety,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said in a statement. “These awards, and the support of our national and state transportation agencies, will enable the advancement of critical research to address transportation challenges and create new opportunities for smart infrastructure growth.”
VTTI received two of the seven grants awarded nationwide through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Automated Driving Demonstration Grants program. The grants will support two VTTI projects: One will examine how autonomous cars will interact with public safety workers, such as taking traffic direction from a police officer at the scene of an accident. The other grant will be used to research how to safely integrate automated trucks onto U.S. roadways.
VTTI is the largest transportation research institute in the nation and houses the largest group of driving safety researchers in the world.
Tom Dingus, director of VTTI and endowed professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech, said, “Receiving these prestigious awards from the U.S. Department of Transportation is an honor and fantastic for Virginia Tech and Virginia. Over the years, VTTI has established itself as a global leader for automated vehicle evaluation and development. We are very happy to take these important steps to move automated vehicles forward to save lives, improve mobility across the population, and reduce the impact of vehicle emissions.”