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US Department of Transportation Issues Grants for 3 States for AV Research

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【Summary】Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia have received grant funding to advance research and testing of technology surrounding autonomous vehicles.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 23, 2019 5:00 AM PT
US Department of Transportation Issues Grants for 3 States for AV Research

The United States government has taken a cautious approach to autonomous vehicles. For the most part, the federal government has allowed states to control a large amount of whether autonomous vehicles can test on public roads and what type of driverless cars are allowed to be tested. 

So far it's worked, but automakers, tech companies, and states are still looking for a few signs that the government accepts and acknowledges autonomous vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation may have started a snowball, announcing which states get its Automated Driving Demonstration Grants.

Michigan, Ohio, And Virginia First To Receive Grants
 
As Automotive News reports, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia announced that they were the lucky three to benefit from the U.S. DOT's Automated Driving Demonstration Grants. The grants will see the states be given funds to help advance the research and testing of autonomous technology. Michigan and Ohio will receive $7.5 million each, while Virginia is set to get $15 million.
 
For Michigan, the money will go toward funding partners of the city of Detroit, state of Michigan, the American Center for Mobility, and the University of Michigan. The state will also use the funding to continue the development and testing of autonomous technology at the University of Michigan's Mcity facility, in Detroit, and the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti.
 
For Ohio, the grant will go toward helping the state introduce autonomous transport vehicles on public roads . DriveOhio, the state's transportation arm that's focusing on mobility initiatives, and the Transportation Research Center Inc., one of Ohio's independent automotive testing centers, are in charge of seeing the deployment of the driverless vehicles.

How The Funds Will Be Used
 
Other Ohio mobility partners will also be included in the project, including Ohio University, Ohio State University, and the University of Cincinnati. The outlet claims that partners are set to contribute up to $10.3 million in matching funds.
 
The state of Virginia will split its funds between two projects: one will go to developing autonomous concepts for autonomous trucks, while the other is for researching how autonomous vehicles can communicate with their environment. "With new technologies, and particularly with automated driving systems, it's important to get safety right the first time," said U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. in a statement.
 
Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia make sense on paper. Ohio and Michigan are major states for automotive manufacturing and head offices for automakers in the U.S., while Virginia is awfully close to Washington, D.C. Between the three, it will be interesting to see what kind of projects come to light with the funds.
 
The U.S. DOT still has up to $60 million in grants to provide for the research of autonomous technology More grants will surely be given out in the future – most likely to more states.

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