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Western Michigan University Given $2.5M to Study AV Infrastructure

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A Waymo autonomous van

August 6, 2021—Western Michigan University has received a $2.5 million grant from the federal government to research how to improve national infrastructure to better accommodate for autonomous vehicles. 

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Energy and will go to WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences over the next three years, according to WoodTV.com. One branch of the research project will look to see if roads can do some of the data collection work—such as scanning for environmental conditions—that AVs currently do, which drain the vehicles' batteries.

The ultimate goal of the study is to make AVs cheaper and more efficient by having them do less work.

“It’s an approach that no one has really pursued too heavily at this point, and we’re the lucky ones who get to do it,” Dr. Zachary Asher, one of the researchers, said in a release from WMU.

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