The map shows the Ann Arbor-area plan for the Safety Pilot program being conducted by UMTRI. Image courtesy UMTRI.

The map shows the Ann Arbor-area plan for the Safety Pilot program being conducted by UMTRI. Image courtesy UMTRI.

DETROIT – The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) has officially launched its Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program, which will test vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) safety technology applications in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

UMTRI received $14.9 million contract from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for the program, which will involve testing a total of 2,850 vehicles during a 30-month period. The program is designed to test whether wireless V2V and V2I communications technologies can help prevent collisions.

Vehicles in the test will include passenger cars, trucks, commercial trucks, and transit buses. UMTRI and its program partners will outfit the vehicles with integrated, retrofit, and aftermarket V2V and V2I communications devices. The actual vehicle testing period will last for 12 months out of the 30 for the program.

The technologies involved will send and receive electronic data and translate that data into warnings to drivers involved in the project. The systems in the vehicles will warn drivers of dangerous traffic scenarios, such as a potential collision at a blind intersection, colliding into a vehicle that has stopped up ahead, or a vehicle changing lanes while in another vehicle’s blind spot.

The DOT and NHTSA will use the data generated from the Safety Pilot Program to inform future decisions about safety technologies and are designed to be used by the broader transportation industry to develop new safety, mobility, and environmental applications utilizing wireless technologies.

General Motors has already announced how it is contributing to the program.

Automakers involved in the project include Ford Motor Company, General Motors LLC., Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc., Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Inc., Nissan Technical Center North America, Inc., Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. and Volkswagen Group of America.

Other partners include the Michigan Department of Transportation, the City of Ann Arbor, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Mixon Hill, HNTB, SAIC, Texas Transportation Institute, AAA of Michigan, and embedded security systems provider ESCRYPT. Also, the Office of the Vice President of Research at the University of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation are supporting the program.

Updated 8/21/2012, 1:45 pm, added list of manufacturers participating in program.