What does the future of transportation hold?

HOUGHTON — What does the future of transportation hold? Some of the best minds in the industry gathered in the U.P. to talk about it.

The road to autonomous vehicles and other advanced technologies in the transportation industry goes through Michigan Tech.

Which made the university the perfect place for the first Mobility Summit, with faculty and research students sharing their projects with each other.

U. S Army Tank & Automotive Research Center Director Paul Rogers said, “There’s a lot of innovation, there’s a lot of fundamental work going on that can help resolve some of the significant hurdles that we are trying to overcome in the implementation of autonomous vehicle systems and, in particular, we’re very interested in the graduates of a university such as Michigan Tech and attracting that talent into our workforce to be part of our future.”

The push for self–driving cars is fueling innovation to develop the technology, but it won’t just be automobiles that will benefit from automation.

Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said, “So one of the things that, frankly, Michigan Tech is focused on is autonomous vessels. So the technology kind of transfers over and there’s nobody else talking about how would you make a vessel go either under the water, through the water, do environmental testing, whatever they want to look at—make it operate autonomously—and that’s happening here.”

There are 376 companies in Michigan doing 75 percent of all the automotive research and development in North America.

Michigan is said to have laws in place to allow autonomous vehicle operations that make it the most progressive in the country.