Colorado State University will soon conduct research on the go with four internet connected, electric powered cars awarded to the University.
The electric car company, Innova UEV and the education and technology community Internet2, awarded four cars each to CSU, the University of Pittsburgh, University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin. Through the award, all universities will be able to share the data they collect from their research endeavors.
Starting in August, CSU will study data received from CSU employees who can rent the small cars, according to Scott Bailey, the director of Academic Computing & Networking Services at CSU.
“We have done a lot of research on our campus about why people don’t use public transportation alternatives more,” Bailey said.
According to Bailey, many people do not use public transportation options because of other obligations and errands they have during the day that require a vehicle.
The fully electric cars will help research ways to address this gap with the cars being available to all CSU employees for rent and use during the day for various activities.
The cars have various sensors that track battery usage, amount of miles and much more. The cars are also highly adaptable depending on the needs of each research project. Data can be relayed in real time from the cars to the University’s shared networks.
The cars will also have a mobile application that will notify CSU users if a vehicle is available and where it is. Furthermore, they can reserve cars and provide comments on vehicle performance, which helps researchers gather more data.
“This new way of transportation on campus can be not only useful, but rich with data that we can share and learn from,” said Roman Kuropas, founder and CEO of Inova.
According to Kuropas, Inova and Internet2 went through a rigorous vetting process to decide which of the 11 universities who applied were best suited to research the cars.
According to Shel Waggener, Senior Vice President of Internet2, they attempted to chose from a diversity of schools and geography types, to ensure they could have a better understanding of the cars.
“In the case of each of the selected campuses, the university had strong sustainability commitments,” Waggener said.
Once all universities finish their research, the collected data and results will be released to the general public for access.
“Collectively across these sites we expect very intriguing results,” Kuropas said.
Update: This post previously identified the electric car company as Innova, but it is actually Innova UEV. The Collegian regrets its error.
Collegian Senior Reporter Skyler Leonard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org