LTU joins academic consortium for connected, autonomous vehicles

YPSILANTI TWP. – Lawrence Technological University was one of 15 colleges and universities across Michigan to sign an agreement Monday creating the Academic Consortium of the American Center for Mobility (ACM).

The aim of the consortium is to train the next generation of high-tech talent at the center, located at the former Willow Run plant, in the latest connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies.

“Lawrence Tech is a natural part of this consortium, since we are and have been a leader in these technologies,” LTU President Virinder Moudgil said. As an example, Moudgil mentioned ACTor – the Autonomous Campus Transportation taxi now under development on the LTU campus. The aim is to have an autonomous electric car acting as a taxi for students around campus by next fall.

In the agreement, ACM and the Academic Consortium will partner to create educational opportunities to train and prepare students to support automated vehicle testing and implementation. Consortium members will work together to identify workforce courses and training programs, as well as recruitment opportunities, internships, co-op and work-study programs.

Dr. Nabil Grace, dean of LTU’s College of Engineering, signed the agreement on behalf of LTU.

Said John Maddox, president and CEO of ACM: “This first-of-its-kind collaboration will solidify Michigan’s place as a global hub for CAV technologies and future mobility, as well as ACM as an incubator to address the specific needs of industry to drive the future of transportation.

The other members of the consortium are Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Kettering University, Macomb Community College, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, the University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses, Washtenaw Community College, Wayne County Community College, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University.

ACM is a non-profit testing, education and product development center, designed to enable safe validation and certification of connected and automated vehicle technology. It is one of 10 automated vehicle proving grounds designated by the federal Department of Transportation. It is also part of PlanetM, a transportation collaborative of industry, government and academia set up by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

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In the photo above, Nabil Grace, dean of the College of Engineering at Lawrence Tech, is fourth from the left in this photo of Monday’s signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Academic Consortium of the American Center for Mobility..

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