VPI Snags another Connected Cars Contract

Virginia Tech is stepping up its involvement in developing technologies for connected cars. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has won another $1 million federal grant to design the communication framework that will allow vehicles to “talk” to their drivers as well as other cars on the roadway. States a Virginia Tech news story:

The projects goal: Design, test, and disseminate the initial recommended framework that controls how motorists receive communications – traffic warnings, the too-close approach of another vehicle, weather warnings, or text messages — while driving. Focus will be placed on the communication’s format, visual or audible, and the order and timing of such messages.

This comes atop $30 million in other connected-vehicle projects, including long-term research into crash avoidance systems, automated driving, and naturalistic driver experiences behind the wheel. Research locations include the Virginia Smart Road near Blacksburg, the Virginia International Raceway in Danville and the connected-vehicle test bed in Fairfax County.

Driverless cars are coming faster than you think. Virginia is not a leader in this field but Virginia Tech’s research may allow the Virginia Department of Transportation to be a fast follower.