VTTI, then called the University Center for Transportation Research (CTR), is established in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation University Transportation Centers Program as part of a Penn State team and in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Discussions begin to build a “smart road” alongside a proposed highway between Blacksburg and Roanoke. Roanoke County officials believe the road will prompt companies interested in developing and testing technologies to establish businesses in the area.
The Virginia Smart Road is included in Virginia's six-year transportation plan. The road is described as an “electronically monitored highway of the future.”
The House Committee on Public Works and Transportation approves a $10 million request for the construction of a “smart road” between Blacksburg and Roanoke.
Support for the “smart road” continues as the General Motors Foundation agrees to give Virginia Tech $250,000 during the next five years for students to study smart highway systems.
VTTI continues to advance its research and education mission with research projects focusing on truck safety, passenger information systems, adaptive cruise control, incident detection and management, and a traffic diversion deployment system.
Virginia Tech is part of a consortium headed by General Motors and awarded a $150 million federal grant to develop a prototype for the high-tech roads of the future.
Preliminary designs for the Smart Road are unveiled by VDOT.
Thomas A. Dingus is named director of CTR, which was designated that year as one of three Federal Highway Administration/Federal Transit Administration Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Centers of Excellence.
Groundbreaking occurs for the first 1.7-mile part of the Smart Road.
The New Century Council identifies the Smart Road as “the single most important capital project in the region” and transportation technology as “the keystone for economic development efforts in the next century.”
VTTI researchers lead a naturalistic driving study that ultimately informs the 2003 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service rule that provides a special exemption for local short-haul operators.
The Center for Transportation Research officially becomes VTTI. On March 23, the Smart Road officially opens in co-sponsorship with VDOT.
The Smart Road is dedicated on May 30, and VTTI researchers begin instrumenting Blacksburg to monitor traffic flow, traffic safety, noise, and air pollution.
VTTI begins to conduct the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, the first instrumented vehicle study ever undertaken with the primary purpose of collecting large amounts of driving data under real-world conditions, using a data collection system developed in-house.
The National Institutes of Health sponsors a teen driving study conducted on the Smart Road. VTTI researchers observe that teens engage longer with cell phones and lack situational awareness as compared to experienced adult drivers. As a result, researchers suggest that driver education curricula be revised and cell phones be discouraged or outlawed.
VTTI develops a master plan for its transportation research complex and begins the design work on a new 21,000-square-foot building.
VTTI is designated as a Center for Excellence in the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) transportation bill.
The National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence is formally awarded to VTTI through the Federal Highway Administration. Sen. John Warner attends the dedication.
After being named the prime contractor for the planning phase of the 2,500-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, which will total $30 million in funding, VTTI refines its next-generation data acquisition system to collect real-world driving information.
Because of the large amounts of data processed on-site for such naturalistic driving studies as the 100-Car Study and the anticipated results from the 2,500-Car Study, VTTI is poised to become the largest repository for naturalistic driving data.
The VTTI Center for Injury Biomechanics opens the crash sled laboratory, which is used to study transportation-related trauma and helps researchers better understand the mechanisms of injuries.
VTTI has become the leading expert in the collection of real-world transportation data. To expand collection capabilities, VTTI engineers begin work on developing a miniaturized version of its data acquisition system (DAS): the MiniDAS.
The Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation (GCAPS) is launched with $2 million in equipment expenditures towards a state-of-the-art tire development and testing system to be located in the Virginia International Raceway Motorsports Technology Park in Alton, Va.
The newest iteration of the VTTI-developed DAS is unveiled: the MiniDAS. This version expands the capabilities of VTTI data collection to include motorcycles and support onboard monitoring and driver feedback for both traditional and non-traditional vehicles.
VTTI spearheads the opening of the Virginia Connected Test Bed in Fairfax, Va., and GCAPS officially begins operations.
VTTI partners with VDOT to establish the Virginia Connected Corridors (VCC) connected vehicle test bed.
In partnership with VDOT, VTTI unveils the Virginia Accelerated Pavement Testing program, which has enabled researchers to more quickly determine how different pavement designs and new materials respond to load testing before putting them on the road.
VTTI is selected to lead a U.S. Department of Transportation National University Transportation Center focused on four key themes surrounding the potential of disruptive technologies to improve transportation safety.
VTTI launches the Automated Mobility Partnership program, which brings industry leaders together to promote the development of tools, techniques, and data resources to support the rapid advancement of automated driving systems.
VTTI launches the InternHUB program, which provides Virginia Tech students with the opportunity to work alongside leading automakers on projects that address the industry's most pressing transportation challenges.
VTTI receives two U.S. Department of Transportation grants totaling $15 million to advance research on the safe integration of automation into U.S. roadways.
In partnership with VDOT, VTTI completes the final of four major enhancements to Virginia Smart Roads: 1) the surface street facility, 2) the Automation Hub, 3) the live roadway connector, and 4) the rural roadway facility.
VTTI ushers in a new era with Zac Doerzaph named as executive director. Doerzaph follows in the footsteps of Tom Dingus, who served as VTTI's director for 25 years.
VTTI enters its 35th year of dedication to transportation safety and mobility.
VTTI has an annual research portfolio of over $30 million.
VTTI supports approximately 100 Virginia Tech undergraduate and graduate students each year.
Research time on the Virginia Smart Roads has exceeded 37,000 hours.
VTTI consists of 350+ employees who are dedicating their lives to saving lives.
VTTI houses 1,030 years of video data from naturalistic driving studies.
VTTI researchers produce more than 200 publications and reports each year.