Grant Funds Transportation Research Center at Carnegie Mellon

DOT recently awarded Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering and the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science a $3.5 million grant for the next two years.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded a $3.5 million grant to Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering and the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science to set up the CMU/Penn University Transportation Center for technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation. A Tier 1 National Center, it will be located at CMU in Pittsburgh.

The grant will fund research on technologies for improving the safety and efficiency of transportation, and the two universities will establish a workforce development program to train grad students in modern transportation-related technologies and policymaking.

They received one of 22 grants out of 63 competing applicants. Raj Rajkumar, the George Westinghouse Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Robotics at CMU, will serve as director of the new center. "State-of-the-art computing and communication technologies can significantly advance the safety and efficiency of transportation," he said, adding that the center taps a broad swath of new and ongoing research at both universities.

"The idea behind the center was to bring together computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering to do research that will impact how people commute, drive and move around the country," said Daniel Lee, an associate professor at Penn's engineering school and the lead Penn faculty member on the proposal.

Research work will take place on vehicular information technologies, autonomous vehicles, enhancements for safer driving, and developing oovel human-vehicle interactions without overloading the driver, according to the CMU announcement. The center will engage work already under way by Traffic21, a research team launched in July 2009 to design and deploy information and communications for life-saving transportation solutions.

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