- Associated Press - Sunday, April 20, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Industry, academic and policy experts will be in Ann Arbor this week for a connected cars conference.

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute hosts the 2014 Global Symposium on Connected Vehicles and Infrastructure. The event runs Monday through Wednesday.

The conference opens Monday with remarks from Peter Sweatman, director of the university’s Transportation Research Institute and of the Michigan Mobility Transformation Center; and from S. Jack Hu, interim vice president for research at the university.

Daniel Smith, a senior associate administrator with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Kirk Steudle, director of the state Department of Transportation, also speak Monday afternoon, organizers said.

A special energy workshop is Wednesday and Thursday.

Ann Arbor is home to an ongoing experiment involving so-called talking cars that University of Michigan and government officials say they hope will lead to safer roads. Thousands of wirelessly connected cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles are operating in the city as a part of the study conducted by the institute.

“We want to demonstrate fully driverless vehicles operating within the whole infrastructure of the city within an eight-year timeline and to show that these can be safe, effective and commercially successful,” Sweatman said when the Ann Arbor initiative was launched.

The vehicles are being used to study how cars equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle wireless communication devices interact with each another and with wirelessly equipped infrastructure, such as intersections and street lights.




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