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Michigan State University has launched a “MSU Mobility” initiative which has a number of components but an overarching goal of safety.
“Every day over 50,000 students, staff, faculty and visitors come to campus, and MSU Mobility will ensure even greater safety for pedestrians, cyclists and those who drive,” says Dr. Satish Udpa, MSU executive vice president for Administrative Services.
As with most initiatives at MSU, researchers from multiple disciplines will collect data, develop simulations, and test smart and connected systems for improving traffic flow and pedestrian safety.
“We want to take advantage of every bit of our intellectual capacity with respect to a number of mobility issues, including autonomous vehicles, networked smart signals and parking redesign,” Udpa explains.
“We need engineers, social scientists, lawyers, philosophers—working as a team to ensure all the aspects of mobility are thoroughly researched before we actually implement a plan,” he says. And, be assured, undergraduate and graduate students will be fully engaged in the research.
MSU Mobility is yet another important dimension of the university’s overall sustainability planning. It will dovetail with such on-going initiatives as campus recycling, the transition to 100% renewable energy, green construction, water management and local food sourcing.
As one example of sustainability efforts, Udpa points to the new solar panels that are being constructed on a number of MSU parking lots.
“Not only will these panels keep the lots cooler by providing shade, they will also generate renewable energy for campus use. Some are already under construction, and the project should be finished by the end of the year.
“Our goal has always been and continues to be ensuring MSU is one of ‘greenest’ universities in the country; we are deeply committed to that.”