U of I receives $3.5 million grant to lead national transportation center

A national grant recently awarded to the University of Idaho will support the efforts of university researchers to make the nation’s transportation system more sustainable.
The University of Idaho’s National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology (NIATT) will receive $3.5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to lead a national Tier 1 University Transportation Center.

The University of Idaho is leading one of only 10 Tier 1 Centers selected from a highly competitive pool of 46 proposals. Partners in the center are Old Dominion University, Syracuse University, Texas Southern University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

The center is a collaborative university effort to further develop technologies to improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of the transportation system.
“Research conducted at our nation’s top universities fuels our country’s economy and moves the United States forward to be competitive in a global marketplace,” said M. Duane Nellis, University of Idaho president. “Transportation touches on so many aspects of our global society and we are honored to lead this outstanding team of universities, empowered by the Transportation Department grant.”
Researchers from the five universities will study driverless intersection controls, eco-driving methods, eco-routing based on time and traffic, communication between vehicles to steady traffic flow, vehicle performance adjustments for efficient operation in controlled traffic systems, optimized freight routing, decision support tools for policy makers, and encouragement of driver behavior that reduces fuel consumption and increases safety.
“Transportation research and education are two keys to the continued vitality of our country and our economy,” said Karen DenBraven, NIATT director.

“We are pleased to be selected as the leader of a group of nationally recognized transportation scholars. Our results will support the evolution of the nation’s transportation system to meet the challenges of the 21st century.” 
According to Ahmed Abdel-Rahim, one of the lead researchers on the grants, “these awards reaffirm the University of Idaho’s NIATT as one of the nation’s leading transportation research centers. It provides NIATT researchers the resources needed to conduct basic and applied transportation research and educational programs to help the nation achieve the goals of a cleaner environment and greater energy independence.”

Published 3-2-2012