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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 influenced public policy on national and international levels.

VTTI has grown from 15 faculty, staff, and students to become the largest group of driving safety researchers in the world with over 300 employees. Research conducted at 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, 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).


The planning for a “smart road” begins. 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."


Groundbreaking occurs for the first 1.7-mile part of the Smart Road.


VTTI researchers lead a naturalistic driving study that 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. The Smart Road officially opens in co-sponsorship with VDOT.


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, and a National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence from the Federal Highway Administration.


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 becomes 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.


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.


After over two years in development, the newest iteration of the VTTI-developed DAS is unveiled: the MiniDAS. The MiniDAS expands the capabilities of VTTI data collection to include motorcycles and support onboard monitoring and driver feedback for traditional and non-traditional vehicles


VTTI partners with VDOT to establish the Virginia Connected Corridors (VCC) connected vehicle test bed.


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 together industry leaders to promote the development of tools, techniques, and data resources to support the rapid advancement of automated driving systems.


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.