The Gov. Larry Hogan administration last week announced an eight-person work group to pursue recommendations in a recent Maryland Transportation Institute study regarding the development of a potential Autonomous Technology Center (ATC). Funded in part by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the study examined the technical, economic, and regulatory feasibility of establishing a center in Western Maryland.
Autonomous technologies cover a wide spectrum from unmanned aerial systems and connected autonomous vehicles to industrial robotics, cybersecurity, and data analysis on autonomous systems.
“Along with existing autonomous technology centers in Aberdeen and southern Maryland, this western Maryland ATC would make the state of Maryland an autonomous technology delta and promote the state to being a national leading hub in autonomous technology innovation,” said MTI affiliate and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Qingbin Cui.
For the study, Cui and Lei Zhang, director of MTI and Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor, identified industry interest, analyzed market potential, selected technology areas, and determined facility needs.
“This feasibility study is a perfect example of how MTI can bring to bear our interdisciplinary expertise from colleges across the University of Maryland to improve quality of life and economic development in Maryland,” said Zhang.
The new work group is charged with making recommendations on a site location and funding sources. They will also refine design and cost estimates for construction, identify partnership opportunities, and establish the needs of stakeholders that would use the facility.
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