The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and its partners have launched a $15 million Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment research project, to study the potential of operating connected vehicles on the streets and highways of Ann Arbor, Mich. The U.S. DOT will use data from the model deployment to evaluate the potential for connected vehicle technology to prevent crashes in an everyday environment.

The year-long study will involve installing wireless devices in up to 3,000 vehicles, to allow communication among the vehicles, and between the vehicles and the surrounding roadside equipment. Connected vehicle communication is based on Dedicated Short Range Communications, a wireless technology similar to Wi-Fi.

Engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff will design and supervise deployment of technology infrastructure for the pilot program, including 29 roadside equipment installations. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2013.