Proos: Michigan leading the way on ‘connected car’ technology to make roads safer

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan is the national leader in developing, testing and implementing collision avoidance technology that has the potential to cut in half the number of car accidents, said Sen. John Proos.

“Even though today’s cars are the safest ever built, crashes remain the leading cause of death for children in America,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph, a member of the Legislative Auto Caucus. “Michigan is at the forefront of a technological innovation that could substantially improve safety on our roads. The state has partnered with our universities and manufacturers to lead the way on collision avoidance technologies — installing more connected vehicle infrastructure than all the other states combined.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is working with General Motors, Ford and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute to deploy vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technology on more than 120 miles of Metro Detroit roadways.

“Connected car technology will enable vehicles to communicate with each other and the road. It is the next step in saving lives by preventing crashes in the first place,” Proos said.

Ten automobile manufacturers recently pledged to voluntarily include collision avoidance technology in their cars as standard equipment. In less than a decade, roughly half of all the cars on the road will feature the technology.

“Collision avoidance systems are able to warn the driver of an imminent collision or even brake the car itself,” Proos said. “The idea that your car will be smart enough to protect you from harm is no longer science fiction, and Michigan’s skilled engineering and advanced manufacturing workers are playing a pivotal role in making it a reality.”

According to MDOT, Michigan colleges and universities graduate more than 6,000 engineers and technicians each year, and nearly 75 percent of automotive research and development funding spent in the U.S. is done in Michigan.


Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.