JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The state of Missouri is teaming up with its main university system to launch a new research center focused on transportation issues.
The Missouri Center for Transportation Innovation, announced Tuesday, will be part of the University of Missouri System and receive its basic funding from the Missouri Department of Transportation. It also intends to seek federal grants.
Research will focus on such things as connected and autonomous vehicles, improved materials for roads and bridges, transportation safety and ways to relieve traffic congestion.
The center will be led by Bill Buttlar, an engineering professor at the university's Columbia campus. He said he hopes the center can help develop “smart" roads and materials. By using sensors and machine learning, researchers could gather large amounts of data from roads, bridges and vehicles that could be used to improve the safety and longevity of infrastructure.