A new $330,000 pilot program will fund U-M researchers focused on the most commercially viable innovations in the realm of electrified, connected and autonomous driving vehicles. The M-TRAC pilot (Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization) is jointly funded by the university and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and will target promising new technologies from the College of Engineering and the U-M Transportation Research Institute.
This support includes research funding for proof-of-concept and late-stage translational activities, with consultation and mentoring from industry and investment experts outside the university. Potential economic impact is far-reaching throughout the region’s auto sector; M-TRAC funding will focus on advanced materials, robotics and autonomy, sensors, electric vehicle drivetrain/propulsion, software/controls/data, and advanced manufacturing processes.
“The [transportation program] will be an important Michigan resource for advanced automotive research, technology commercialization, and transportation market development,” says Gary Smyth, one of the oversight committee members.