U-M in D.C.


Impact of unmanned aircraft

​Unmanned aircraft systems continue to be a hot topic in Washington, D.C.  The University of Maryland and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation held a briefing in the U.S. Senate on July 16 to discuss issues surrounding these unmanned aircraft and their impact on federal policy and research. Ella Atkins, associate professor of aerospace engineering, and electrical engineering and computer science, was among those on the panel, where she discussed the challenges she faces as a researcher in being able to fly and test these systems under current policies. 

Derek Paley (left) of the University of Maryland Department of Aerospace Engineering, and Gregg Shimp (right), vice president of engineering for Textron Systems Unmanned Systems joined U-M’s Ella Atkins at the Senate briefing. (Photo by Mike Waring, Washington Office)

Connected vehicles

The U.S. Senate and House Auto Caucuses hosted a briefing July 15 with a panel that included Peter Sweatman, director of the U-M Transportation Research Institute and the Mobility Transformation Center. The briefing titled, “Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communications Update: Paving the Road to a Safer Future,” highlighted the impact that connected vehicles could have on revolutionizing highway safety, estimating that technology like V2V communications could save thousands of lives every year.

In his remarks, Sweatman emphasized the important accomplishments UMTRI has made on conneceted vehicle research through programs like the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safety Pilot Program and the future potential of research that will be done at Mcity, a U-M autonomous vehicle domain that will simulate real world environments using V2V technology.

U-M’s Peter Sweatman looks on as Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks at Wednesday’s briefing. (Photo by Kristina Ko, Washington Office)

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