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U.S. Transportation Secretary Announces $8 Million Grant At Special Traffic21 Conference At Carnegie Mellon

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Carnegie Mellon University welcomed the transportation secretary as it celebrated a landmark day for one of its groundbreaking programs.

Carnegie Mellon University celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Traffic21 program on Thursday.

The program's goal is to design, test, and develop technology to address traffic problems in the Pittsburgh area.

CMU's groundbreaking program has already made a major impact on the community.

"The work of Traffic21 and its university transportation center has resulted in three spinoff companies that have created hundreds of technology jobs in Pittsburgh, attracted tens of millions of dollars in private investment," noted CMU president Farnam Jahanian at a special two-day conference that began Thursday.

Their technology is already in more than 100 communities around the United States.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Mayor Bill Peduto, and others were among those updated on the progress of many technologies, including self-driving vehicles and coordinated traffic lights.

Also in Pittsburgh was U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who hailed new advanced driver-assistance technology.

"As you all know, these systems include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive lighting, and lane-keeping technology."

Secretary Chao also brought money with her.

She announced another $8.4 million grant to the Commonwealth and CMU for work zone safety, to protect workers and first responders.

In a one-on-one interview with KDKA money editor Jon Delano following her address, Chao said the competition for the grant was stiff, but she is looking forward to the results.

"What are the ways we can decrease fatalities and improve road safety," she said of the goal.

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