UM Advanced Transportation Hub to fund innovative mobility projects

Posted: 21 July 2020 |

The selected projects aim to tackle market needs, offering ways to increase the efficiency, safety and sustainability of moving people and goods.

UM Advanced Transportation Hub to fund innovative mobility projects

The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Innovation Hub for Advanced Transportation at the University of Michigan (UM) recently awarded a combined $710,000 to eight high-tech, early-stage mobility projects from a pool of applications received from Michigan universities this cycle.

Of those selected for funding, seven were led by researchers at UM and one was led by a researcher at Western Michigan University. 

“The eight projects receiving funding this year through the MTRAC Innovation Hub for Advanced Transportation reflect the diversity of advanced automotive technologies being developed at Michigan’s universities,” said Kelly Sexton, UM Associate Vice President for Research-Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships. “These technologies hold the potential to fuel our region’s mobility industry in the years to come, and we are grateful to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for their support of this programme.”

The eight projects aim to address mobility needs through the following:

  • Enabling fuel cell vehicles through the production of low-cost, low-CO2, on-site hydrogen
  • Extending the operational domain of driver assistance and autonomous driving systems to provide safe vehicle operation in inclement weather
  • Providing a cleaner alternative to traditional paint through replacing traditional pigments with a process that employs multilayer nanostructures
  • Enabling fast-charging capability in batteries with minimal long-term performance degradation through a laser-patterned electrode process
  • Eliminating a battery degradation mode and enabling high specific energy battery designs through a battery separator technology that preempts dendrite formation
  • Providing low-cost, clean electricity for electric vehicle charging through deployment of a novel, high power density solar module design
  • Reducing the cost of lightweight vehicle structures through an extrusion design solution that reduces scrap generation by 25-50 per cent
  • Saving drivers time and energy through an artificial intelligence and connected vehicle-based traffic signal-optimisation service.

“With its laser focus on commercialisation, the UM Advanced Transportation MTRAC Innovation Hub provides key support to early-stage technologies hoping to make a revolutionary impact on the transportation sector,” said Denise Graves, University Relations Director at the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

“The funding, along with mentoring and industry guidance, will help them bring their innovative technologies closer to the market. These projects have the potential to solve some challenging issues, and we look forward to seeing how the funding and mentorship help them complete their milestones over the coming year.”