Abstract design

Beyond the Traffic Signs, and Outside the Yellow Lines

Snow. Combat. Offline. Hacked. Human Error. 

At Michigan Tech, we excel in unstructured environments. 

Mobility is the movement of people, goods, and information. 

There are many real-world scenarios where mobility is needed. Interdisciplinary teams at Michigan Tech tackle research challenges in the air, on land, and even underwater.

Unstructured environments are the gray zones of mobility. It's where chaos enters the picture. Michigan Tech is in a remote, snowy region in the Upper Peninsula—our community regularly has to make sense of chaos and a lack of structure, and to some extent, that carries over into our research.

Car driving in snow storm
Unpredictable Weather.

Mobility Research

As a key research area that spans civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, cognitive science, and many more, mobility needs more than traditional paths to move the field forward. Whether under water, above traffic, by rail, or on the road, Michigan Tech takes autonomy to the ends of the Earth. Select the topic links below to discover the researchers that focus in each area.

User Experience (UX) - Fast changing technology calls for innovative solutions to create the best overall meeting point between the highest user satisfaction and technological requirements.

Propulsion Systems - As the world moves towards more efficient and environmentally friendly fuel sources research is needed to discover the best available future. Within the next 10 years a significant shift is expected in which we will see five classes of propulsion systems emerge.

Industry 4.0 - Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing, and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 is commonly referred as the fourth industrial revolution.

Cyber Security - Cyber security protects connected systems, including hardware, software, and data. Protecting vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) is critical.

Advanced Controls & Mechatronics - Advanced Controls and Mechatronics involve the integration of physical systems with electronic digital control.

Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence - Rapid advances in digitation, data collection, analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have been reshaping the way society engages with automobiles. As technology continues to evolve research continues to grow to include a wider section of categories.

Smart Transportation Infrastructure - Smart infrastructure will be an integral mobility part of transportation including; roads, bridges traffic lights, parking lots, toll booths, and even more. Communication between vehicles and infrastructure are creating solutions for safety and reduced congestion.

Rural & Cold Weather Environment - Mobility can be severely impacted by rural or cold weather conditions. Dirt and gravel roads, or snow and ice can significantly affect the performance of a vehicle and its systems. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula provides a natural environment to experiment and test vehicles under the harshest conditions.


Testing and Proving Grounds

The Keweenaw Research Center maintains more than 900 acres of proving grounds, including many miles of prepared test tracks. Ride and handling loops, a circular track, an ice rink, a snow-packed area, and a rugged off-road obstacle course all provide the backdrop for research in vehicle mobility.

Preview image for Ram Trucks Torture Testing: Extreme Cold video

Ram Trucks Torture Testing: Extreme Cold

Welcome to Houghton, MI—home to subzero temperatures and a regular snowfall averaging 260 inches per year.

Preview image for Michelin Winter Tires vs. All Season Handling with Jim Cantore video

Michelin Winter Tires vs. All Season Handling with Jim Cantore

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore visits Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to test winter tire handling against all-season tire handling with Michelin.

Military tank
Unexpected Danger.


Mobility at Michigan Tech