- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State government, universities and researchers in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania are teaming up on efforts to develop connected and automated vehicles.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says Wednesday the “Smart Belt Coalition” includes the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as well as the American Center for Mobility in Michigan.

Officials say they’re working on a strategic plan that includes automation in construction zones and commercial freight.

The coalition includes the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Carnegie Mellon University and others.

Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle says in a statement the cooperation “will pay dividends for all of us while we continue to leverage our existing partnerships.” Aims include supporting testing, sharing data and seeking joint funding for projects.

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