jim.sayer_UMTRI’s James Sayer will be honored at the White House this week for his leadership in advancing connected and automated transportation.

Sayer, a research scientist at UMTRI and deployment director for the U-M Mobility Transformation Center, is one of 11 recipients from across the country who will receive a 2015 Transportation Champions of Change Award.

The award is given to transportation leaders “who have provided exemplary leadership in advancing transportation and championing innovation that will benefit our nation’s transportation system for decades to come.”

During the Oct. 13 event, Sayer will be recognized by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and participate in a panel discussion where he will discuss his work.

“Jim Sayer is widely recognized as a leader in the field of connected vehicles,” said S. Jack Hu, interim vice president for research at U-M. “His work with the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment was instrumental in demonstrating the potential of the technology, and his ongoing work with the U-M Mobility Transformation Center, including the design and development of Mcity, is laying the foundation for a new era of driverless vehicles.”

Sayer was the principal investigator of the U.S. DOT-funded Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment and serves as the principal investigator for the Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment.

With support from U-M and the Michigan Department of Transportation, Sayer has overseen the creation, construction and operation of Mcity—the world’s first controlled environment specifically designed to provide safe, rigorous, repeatable testing of connected and automated vehicle technologies before they are tried out in real traffic.

For more information, visit umtri.umich.edu