The deal will enable the development of a smart mobility test ground in New Jersey as part of efforts to address barriers to e-mobility.
Rutgers University, through its Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), has selected smart mobility infrastructure management solutions firm Iteris for the design and implementation of the Middlesex County – Smart Mobility Testing Ground (MC-SMTG).
The multi-phase, multi-year MC-SMTG programme will be developed in New Jersey. As part of the contract, Iteris will complete the concept design and testing in the initial phase, and participate as a partner in the public-private-and-academic partnership (PPAP) team that will carry out the proposed construction and testing ground development phase.
Iteris will provide its design and safety application expertise to design and implement an environment for smart mobility application testing to address several key challenges for local communities along key corridors, including congestion, safety, environmental, energy and community equity issues.
The signing of the deal comes at a time when the unequal distribution of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and funding has been identified as one of the key barriers hindering EV adoption in low-income communities in the US.
A new report released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has found that as more utilities invest ratepayer funds to support and expand EV charging infrastructure, few states and power companies ensure equitable distribution of these funds.
Amongst the 36 US states evaluated by ACEEE, only six have equally distributed EV chargers and funding between low and moderate-income communities, high income communities and communities of colour.
The testbed will act as the foundation for the development of a smart mobility innovation hub at which the New Jersey Department of Transportation will partner with public and private-sector researchers to develop and test new sustainable mobility solutions.
Dr. Ali Maher, professor and director at Rutgers CAIT, said: “The MC-SMTG is a critical element in accelerating the delivery of the benefits that can be derived from these new smart mobility technologies, and the project will further establish Rutgers CAIT as a center of excellence in transportation innovation in the connected and automated vehicle arena.”