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State awards UToledo $474,287 for equipment to train students in autonomous-vehicle technology

The state of Ohio awarded The University of Toledo a $474,287 grant to purchase new state-of-the-art equipment to train students in the areas of autonomous vehicle-sensing technologies, robotics and vision-based systems for automation.

The grant is part of $975,000 in funding in the region and $8 million across the state announced by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine this week through the Department of Higher Education’s Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) program for universities, community colleges and technical career centers to collaborate to enhance education and job preparedness in a variety of fields of strategic importance for the state’s employers.

One of the state’s nine regions, UToledo’s group – a consortium that includes three universities, six private and community colleges, and two career and technical centers – is focused on working together to share new equipment and curriculum in the field of robotics and autonomous vehicles.

“The RAPIDS program awards offer a unique opportunity for Ohio’s postsecondary educational institutions and employers to help address local workforce needs,” DeWine said. “Students are able to gain access to top-notch equipment that helps better prepare them for available jobs.”

“This investment focused on advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity in autonomous vehicles will significantly benefit students in our new graduate certificate program in vehicle mechatronics that we launched in collaboration with Dana Inc.,” Dr. Mike Toole, dean of the UToledo College of Engineering, said.

Equipment is shared among campuses, allowing more students to get a quality education more affordably.

“When businesses and our higher education institutions are asked to work together to develop strategic plans for using these funds, it provides students with more opportunities for success while strengthening the regional workforce and Ohio’s economy,” Chancellor Randy Gardner, chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, said.

The RAPIDS program was launched in 2014.

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