What We Do for You: Impacts Reports 2022

Director's Message

Kyle Shelton standing infront of MnCAV vehicle
Kyle Shelton at the Drive MN closing event.

“CTS cultivates improvements and innovation in transportation through research, engagement, and education.” 

This is our mission statement, refined last year as part of a strategic planning process with the CTS Executive Committee.

But what does this mission look like in practice, and what does it mean for you?

One sparkling example is the successful completion of Drive MN—a statewide connected and automated vehicle (CAV) data collection effort. The 1,000+ mile drive in two CAV-ready vehicles allowed the University researchers and our partners to collect troves of sensor and camera data from all corners of the state. The data collected will provide critical information about how these vehicles interpret and operate in our current roadway system. The importance of such data collection for the future smooth operation of CAV technologies cannot be understated. 

CTS contributions to the Drive MN tour serve as an apt example of where we are going in the years ahead. Within the University, researchers have been putting our CAV vehicle to great use investigating this cutting-edge mobility technology. Researchers have also played a critical role in documenting the rollout, public perception, and performance of CAV shuttles in multiple Minnesota cities through work alongside MnDOT’s CAV office. We’ve built upon our strong relationships with CAV partners through the Drive MN effort, my appointment to the Governor’s CAV advisory council, and participation with the Innovation Alliance. Our CAV vehicle was also a centerpiece of our second annual CAV Career Pathways Camp held for high school students in the summer of 2022. 

Research. Engagement. Education. The three pillars of CTS’s work, all captured in just our CAV efforts. Our daily work on other key topics and programs—from safety, to equity, to workforce development—reinforces these pillars. We're grateful to our dedicated Executive Committee members for challenging us while providing ongoing support as we pursue our mission each day of the year. 

Look for CTS to continue to become more proactive in 2023 and the years to come. I’m looking forward to celebrating many more completed research projects, successful partnerships, and valuable outputs from CTS and the University. We hope you’ll come along with us on this journey.

— Kyle Shelton, CTS Director