Public-Private Partnership Advances Smart Cities and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles
Aug. 23, 2021 – The UC Irvine HORIBA Institute for Mobility and Connectivity2 (HIMaC2) in the Samueli School of Engineering has been awarded a $6 million grant to establish a Public Road Network Platform for the development, evaluation and deployment of emerging and future connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. The grant, awarded by the Vehicle Technology Office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will equip 25 intersections at UCI and the adjacent city of Irvine with a next-generation lidar-based traffic sensor and analytics technology in collaboration with the DOE Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), the UCI Institute of Transportation Studies, Velodyne Lidar, Bluecity Technology, Toyota Motor of North America, Pony.ai and Hyundai Mobis.
The team will study how traffic coordination based on reliable data and analytics can improve energy efficiency, traffic efficiency, air quality and safety. Three fleets of ten vehicles, each with distinct modes of operation (independent driving, shared-use driving and autonomous), will be utilized, and a workforce training program will also be developed in collaboration with Saddleback College.
“The public-private partnership catapults Irvine as a leading international contributor to the future of connected and autonomous transportation,” said Scott Samuelsen, UCI Distinguished Professor Emeritus of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of the project. “By deploying automated monitoring and control in an intersection network, backbone data can be generated and utilized to demonstrate the improved safety, energy efficiency and traffic flow to which cities aspire.”
“The project is also a major achievement and recognition for the newly dedicated HORIBA Institute of Mobility and Connectivity2,” said Vojislav Stamenkovic, inaugural director of HIMaC2 and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. “This is a remarkable accomplishment with a welcomed collaboration with the city and ANL, the premier DOE national laboratory in vehicle technology.”
“The city of Irvine is widely recognized for its vision in transportation planning and execution,” said Mayor Farrah N. Khan. “We welcome fostering our close working relationship with UCI and pioneering the future of connected and autonomous vehicles with the goal of further improving — for our citizens — traffic safety and traffic flow.”
– William Gary / APEP