June 2001

From Virginia Tech

GM awards Virginia Tech Transportation Institute $4.8 million research, product testing agreement

Blacksburg, Va. --- General Motors Corporation (GM) has awarded the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) a long-term research and product testing agreement, with a total that could reach $4.8 million, to examine various aspects of driver-vehicle interfaces for both collision warning and telematics systems.

The agreement provides the framework to conduct a number of individual projects over a three-year period that will heavily utilize the Virginia Smart Road and the Transportation Institute's fleet of instrumented vehicles. The agreement grew from a long-standing research relationship between GM and VTTI and the presence of Virginia's Smart Road research facility. Projects conducted under the agreement will support elements of GM's safety, human factors and research activities.

"GM and Virginia Tech have a long history of industry leading research in the area of driver vehicle interface performance," said Richard Deering, manager, crash avoidance and system development, General Motors. "This agreement furthers our relationship. We want to use the Virginia Smart Road to do a great deal of important testing to optimize the performance of various collision warning systems and to learn more about how drivers can safely use telematic systems."

"This alliance solidifies Virginia Tech's standing as a leader in transportation research and represents an important step forward for our Smart Road partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration," Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said.

Jon Hankey, leader of the institute's Advanced Product Test and Evaluation Group, and Tom Dingus, institute director and long-time driving safety researcher, will serve as the project principal investigators. "This agreement constitutes a great new opportunity for us to participate in cutting-edge research and help shape the design of future vehicles," stated Hankey.

Although the transportation institute has conducted significant research sponsored by private companies, this agreement constitutes the largest such agreement in the history of the organization. "This alliance is very important for the Institute and the Smart Road" stated Dingus. "It provides a long-term base of funding that compliments our funding from public sources and helps to ensure the continued success of the Smart Road for years to come."

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
Phone: 540-231-1500
Fax: 540-231-1555
E-mail: http://www.vtti.vt.edu












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