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Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport has met with representatives of the Michigan Departm...
Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport has met with representatives of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to solidify an agreement to share knowledge and best practice about Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII).

As a result of this collaboration, developments in integrated, advanaced technologies embedded in roads and 'smart cars', video and radar centres and global positioning system modules will be used to relieve traffic congestion, prevent or lessen the frequency and consequences of road traffic accidents and monitor traffic conditions and travel information systems.

The collaboration between Wales and the state of Michigan follows the announcement of the£30 million Institute of Advanced Telecommmunications at Swansea University in December last year.

Speaking at the signing of the collaboration at the office of the Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, Andrew Davies said: 'I am delighted that Wales is to partner the state of Michigan, the recognised leader in the United States, in the development of Intelligent Transport Systems.

'There are huge synergies between Wales and Michigan, both in the level of ITS expertise and in a shared ambition to be at the forefront of this technology.'

Governor Jennifer Granholm said: 'Collaboration between Wales and Michigan on this exciting new technology will act as a catalyst for transport, industrial and economic development on a global scale, and will provide significant mobility, safety and commercial benefit.

'The collaboration will enable two leading proponents of ITS to increase investment and research by encouraging more private sector investors in Wales to use Michigan as the bridgehead into the US and to encourage private developers in the US to use Wales as the bridgehead into Europe.'

At the Farmington Hills test bed site in Detroit, the Minister had the opportunity to test drive a number of intelligent vehicles developed by Motorola, one of the partners in the Swansea Institute of Advanced Telecommunications.

The demonstration vehicles included cars that can 'talk' to each other and with the road to warn other vehicles of potential dangers, such as black ice or other road hazards.

'The potential of ITS technology is literally limitless,' said Andrew Davies. 'ITS can not only warn other road users of potential hazards in real time, but can actually slow a car down to prevent collisions and serious injuries or fatalities.

'The IAT at Swansea and the collaborative agreement with the state of Michigan once again demonstrates how Wales is getting the global agenda in developing and benefitting from emerging technologies.

'The applications already developed by Motorola are just the start of what will undoubtedly be a revolution in advanced technology enabled transport systems.

'I am delighted that Wales is taking the lead to develop and commercialise this technology with the state of Michigan. This is a remarkable day for Wales and a historic day for the future of road transport.'

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