University of Michigan’s Mcity names new director

Mcity to move to U-M’s College of Engineering

The University of Michigan's Mcity autonomous vehicle testing site (Photo: University of MIchigan)

ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan’s Mcity has named Henry Liu as its new director, who will assume the role on Jan. 1, 2022.

A professor of civil and environmental engineering and a research professor at the U-M Transportation Research Institute, Liu will take over the public-private research partnership once it moves to the College of Engineering. Mcity is currently housed in the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Liu will succeed Huei Peng as director, who plans to step down on Dec. 31 when his term ends.

“We are excited for Professor Liu to build upon the already strong reputation developed by Professor Peng during his extraordinary six-year tenure as Mcity director,” Rebecca Cunningham, vice president for research and the William G. Barsan Collegiate Professor of Emergency Medicine, said in a release.

“We are deeply grateful for his leadership and vision, and although his term as Mcity director will soon conclude, Professor Peng will continue to advance transportation and mobility research through his faculty role in mechanical engineering.”

The University of Michigan has named professor Henry Liu as the new director of Mcity. (University of Michigan)

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Mcity is a research hub for automated vehicle technology that brings together researchers from U-M, top industry leaders and the government. Its one-of-a-kind test facility is located on North Campus and features a mock city, highway and roads where researchers can put their technology to the test.

Ann Arbor has also become a living lab for Mcity, with regular sightings of autonomous vehicles testing real-world conditions on the city’s streets.

Liu, who is now the director of the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation, brings extensive expertise and administrative experience in mobility to the role. His research focus is on automotive engineering, artificial intelligence and the interface of transportation.

As a scholar, his interests concern modeling and control, traffic flow monitoring and the evaluation and testing of automated and connected vehicles.

“I’m honored and humbled to have a chance to lead this great organization,” Liu said in a release. “Mcity has been a leading force in the mobility field and has become synonymous with mobility innovation. I will do my best to work together with our partners in industry and government, as well as the Mcity team, to maintain that lead, and continue to strengthen Mcity’s interdisciplinary initiatives.”

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.