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Who We Are

VTTI conducts research to save lives, time, and money and protect the environment.

As one of seven premier research institutes created by Virginia Tech to answer national challenges, VTTI is continually advancing transportation through innovation and has affected public policy on national and international levels.

VTTI has grown from 15 faculty, staff, and students to become the second largest university-level transportation institute in the U.S. with approximately 300 employees. VTTI has effected significant changes in public policies for driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety and is advancing the design of vehicles and infrastructure to increase safety and reduce environmental impacts.

In all endeavors, the VTTI community is charged with finding solutions to the greatest transportation challenges facing our world. The faculty, staff, and students of VTTI are truly dedicating their lives to saving lives.

Our History


VTTI was established in 1988 as the University Center for Transportation Research.


VTTI was designated as one of the nation's three Federal Highway Administration/Federal Transit Administration Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Centers of Excellence.


In conjunction with the completion of the original highway facility of the Virginia Smart Roads, the organization became the first Research Institute of Virginia Tech and adopted the name VTTI.


In recognition of VTTI's continued research leadership, the Institute was designated as the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence (NSTSCE).


VTTI partnered with the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science and the Virginia Tech - Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences to establish a vehicle-centric crash injury biomechanics lab.


VTTI became the lead contractor for the Second Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study, which was established to solve pressing transportation issues through naturalistic data collection and analysis and is the largest research program ever funded by the National Academy of Sciences.


GCAPS – the Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation   an affiliated, non-profit corporation of Virginia Tech that is recognized for its contributions to both research and the economic development of Southern Virginia, was created.


The Director of VTTI, Tom Dingus, was designated as a “White House Champion of Change” by the Obama Administration.


VTTI partnered with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to establish the Virginia Connected Corridors (VCC) connected vehicle test bed.


VTTI was 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 launched the Automated Mobility Partnership program, which brings together industry leaders to promote the development of tools, techniques, and data resources to support the rapid advancement of automated driving systems.


VTTI was awarded an $11M contract to help the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adapt the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for automated vehicles.


In partnership with VDOT, VTTI completed 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.