HomeAutonomous VehiclesFerrovial, Intel, Liberty Mutual, Toyota join MIT on ‘front line’ of mobility revolution

Ferrovial, Intel, Liberty Mutual, Toyota join MIT on ‘front line’ of mobility revolution

An automotive-technology-engineering collective has joined a new mobility initiative organised by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on the ‘front lines of the mobility revolution’. Their task is to shape a “mobility system”, a press statement goes, that is “sustainable, safe, clean, and accessible”. The new joiners are car makers Hyundai and Toyota, engineering firm Ferrovial, microprocessor outfit Intel, plus property and casualty insurer Liberty Mutual.

The five have joined as inaugural members of MIT’s new Mobility Initiative (MMI), actually launched in 2020 by its schools of engineering and architecture planning, as a cross-institute project to convene stakeholders to design future mobility systems. The group will drive innovation” and provide “unbiased strategic direction to guide a deeper collective understanding of mobility challenges”, a statement said.

MIT is looking to the project as a platform to connect sundry mobility and transportation activities at the institute, in an “integrated approach… on research, education, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement related to transportation systems”. Their initial research is on autonomous and connected mobility, including how to quantify and value risk for autonomous vehicles and how to ensure the cybersecurity of the infrastructure supporting their movement.

They will also look at electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, and how to use data to identify gaps in its rollout. MIT put the project in the context of technological transformation on one hand, with the rise of autonomy, electrification, and AI, and environmental transformation, notably evolving priorities around decarbonization, public health, and social justice. The role of smart cities – directed by city administrators – is key to the project, also.

Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said in a joint statement: “The mobility system is undergoing profound transformation with new technologies…The time frame for these changes, decarbonization in particular, is short in a system with massive amounts of fixed, long-life assets and entrenched behaviours and cultures.”

Hashim Sarkis, dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, said: “As cities grapple with the challenges of congestion, pollution, and vehicle-related fatalities, new mobility systems offer the possibility for dramatic urban transformation. Our aim is to provide a platform for many stakeholders to jointly build a better mobility future in the world’s cities.”

John Moavenzadeh, executive director of the MMI project, said: “The future of mobility is created within a complex and highly dynamic ecosystem of established transportation companies, big tech firms, and an explosion of startups. Governments are also actively rewriting the legal and regulatory frameworks for mobility. The MMI recognizes the importance of engaging with the business and government leaders ‘on the front lines’ of the mobility revolution.”

Dimitris Bountolos, chief information officer at Ferrovial, said: “The MMI is the perfect meeting point to share Ferrovial knowledge, learning together with mobility experts, technologists, and OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] on how to build a sustainable future of mobility where infrastructures will be key.”

Ann Stanberry, chief strategy officer for Liberty Mutual, said: “The way people move is constantly evolving, and our engagement with the MIT Mobility Initiative and its industry members ensures that we are on the forefront of this change — working together to help people get where they need to be safely and with peace of mind.”

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