DOT Funds New Transportation Research Center

Carnegie Mellon University announced the two-year, $5.65 million grant on Oct. 10.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a $5.65 million grant to create a national research center devoted to "smart" transportation systems that is headed by Carnegie Mellon University. "This two-year grant for a national Department of Transportation center will help us apply high-tech to make transportation systems smarter and reduce crashes," said Raj Rajkumar, the center's director and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university. He is co-director of two General Motors-CMU Collaborative Research labs.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania will participate in the new DOT-funded center, where researchers will utilize information, communication, and sensing technologies to enhance transportation safety, improve the efficiency of roadways, and reduce travel time.

"The University Transportation Center will focus on the extremely important problem of improving transportation safety by using vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies and sensing to provide valuable, real-time information to vehicles and drivers," said James H. Garrett Jr., dean of the CMU College of Engineering. "The focus of this UTC is an excellent illustration of how we need to explore the ways in which technology can help make infrastructure systems more safe and efficient. At CMU, we have a number of significant research efforts related to various systems making up our nation's infrastructure, such as transportation networks, pipeline networks, the electric grid, and buildings, where researchers from engineering, robotics, computer science, information systems and public policy collaborate to create innovative solutions."

According to the CMU announcement, several members of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation wrote to the Department of Transportation in support of the CMU/Penn competitive application for this award.

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