Texas A&M University to test new transportation technologies in Campus Initiative

Traffic Technology Today

Published July 7, 2016

Texas A&M University has launched a new initiative to identify promising products and ideas for testing on its campus, with the long-term aim of improving the overall campus transportation system.

The Campus Transportation Technology Initiative is being conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), under the direction of Texas A&M University, through a Request for Information (RFI) process. The RFI document is being sent to a wide array of companies, ranging from major automobile manufacturers to small, individual businesses that have products or ideas related to any aspect of transportation technology, including: automated or connected vehicles; electric vehicles; pedestrian, bicycle or transit system safety or mobility; signage and parking; green and sustainable transportation; mobility applications; data mining; and campus work zones.

The TTI will evaluate the technologies and services, provide the testing venues, and prepare and publish a comprehensive report of their findings, all while providing a host of valuable benefits related to having the testing conducted at Texas A&M University. Companies testing their technologies on campus will not only receive evaluations of their technologies by experts at TTI and the Texas A&M College of Engineering, but they will also have access to a large number of students, and potential future sales and marketing opportunities through recognition of their efforts through TTI and university communications channels.

The Campus Transportation Technology Initiative follows the announcement in May by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp of plans to transform the university-owned Riverside Campus (a 2,000-acre former Army Base in Bryan, Texas) into a technology and research facility, now called the RELLIS Campus. A main focus at the new facility is the testing and deployment of advanced transportation technologies. The RFI process is now open and will be accepting submissions for the next year. The initial submission deadline is August 10.

“We want to encourage those who have a technology they think improves transportation, especially in a campus environment, and want to have that technology tested by TTI and its world-class partners, to respond to the RFI,” explained Bob Brydia, senior research scientist of TTI’s Connected Vehicles and Infrastructure Program. “We believe our affiliation with national transportation companies can reduce research and development time, increase product exposure, and offer product enhancement.”

Peter Lange, executive director of Texas A&M Transportation Services, added, “Texas A&M wants to lead the effort in developing a smarter campus transportation eco-system, while increasing safety, mobility, and efficiency across all modes of transportation. I view this RFI as a monumental step forward in our efforts to transform the campus transportation environment, which is our top priority. Technology will play a huge role in the vision Texas A&M University has for the future of our campus transportation system, and we are excited about the opportunities available to us, and the innovators who have their ideas and products tested here.”

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