Michigan International Speedway Offers Track to Test Technology

Joshua Duval

The Michigan International Speedway has offered its track-which is known for hosting NASCAR races-for testing technology that will enable cars to communicate with another, effectively rendering them incapable of crashing into each other.

In a press conference held earlier this week, Michigan Department of Transportation officials said the initiative, "Connected Vehicles", will provide automakers and research companies the neutral testing ground that has been missing to test research in the field. While the technology already exists, it still needs to be put through implementation, testing and production. According to Kirk Steudle, MDOT director, the technology will allow researchers to "push to zero fatalities".

"It is coming," says Roger Curtis, president of the MIS. "It will happen in the next generation of vehicles. It is a question of how fast it happens and where it is developed." Work in this field could generate 1000 jobs in the next year or so, ultimately yielding 10,000-40,000 high-tech jobs for Michigan, according to David Cole, the director of Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research.

The ultimate goal is to make Michigan the international center for research and development of intelligent highways and vehicle connectivity. Greg Krueger, the program manager of MDOT's Intelligent Transportation System program office in Lansing, Michigan said that MDOT has promised $100 million to support the effort for a five-year period that began in 2005.

Source: The Detroit News

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