Testing Ensures the Vitality of South Carolina’s Automotive Industry

LogoIn 1992, world-class automaker BMW announced it would build its first full North American manufacturing facility on a 900-acre megasite straddling Greenville and Spartanburg Counties. The presence of a major automotive OEM effectively solidified the Upstate as the home of a vibrant automotive industry cluster, one that would soon become the fastest growing in the United States.

As hundreds of Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers set up operations here, other OEMs followed suit. Most notably Proterra, the country’s most prolific maker of battery-powered buses. Since establishing its first factory in Greenville in 2011, Proterra has been a proven leader in the worldwide movement toward clean transportation.

Today, global brands such as Michelin, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Robert Bosch, and Magna have a significant presence in South Carolina and every one of them has something in common – they all have testing needs. Whether testing for speed, handling, durability, efficiency, braking, or more, automotive OEMs, suppliers, researchers, and technology providers need a place to safely and securely test their technologies and products and prove their efficacy well before going to market.

This is precisely why in 2010, the leadership of the S.C. Technology & Aviation Center in Greenville, S.C. developed the brilliant idea of converting an old, abandoned airport runway and tarmac on its grounds into a sleek, convenient automotive test track. Officially called the International Transportation Innovation Center, ITIC was designed to accommodate any type of automotive testing need for any organization.

Recently, ITIC Executive Director Jody Bryson was a featured guest on the Upstate Mobility Alliance podcast. Tune in here as Jody explains why ITIC is unique, how it is used today, the latest developments that are underway, and how it will continue to support the state’s automotive industry and our economy well into the future.


ITIC Video Showcases Diversity of Automotive Testing

Today’s cars and trucks, and those in concept for the future, are highly engineered machines with tens of thousands of computer connections working in seamless harmony. But before any vehicle – let alone the technologies that go into it – is ready for market, it must go through a battery of tests to prove its safety and efficacy.

The International Transportation Innovation Center in Greenville, SC is where much of this testing takes place for the Southeast region’s automotive OEMs, suppliers, technology providers and research universities. 

Check out our latest video to learn more about the wide diversity of automotive testing and other services available at ITIC. From electric bus testing to autonomous vehicle technology to law enforcement driver training to automotive exhibitions, ITIC has the flexibility and ingenuity to accommodate any need.

If you like what you see on the video, we encourage you to give us a call at (864) 451-5761 to discuss how ITIC can customize an automotive testing solution for your specific needs. 

How automotive testing at ITIC is impacting tomorrow’s roadways







What do Clemson University, the Greenville Police Department and Proterra all have in common? Mobility plays a tremendous role in helping them achieve their individual missions. To help ensure they train, test and validate their mobility projects safely and reliably, all three organizations use the services of the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC).

The Upstate Business Journal recently came out to talk to ITIC about how we are helping to grow the region’s booming automotive cluster, and what they learned was just how diverse the automotive needs are. Click here for an inside look at a few of the really interesting projects happening at ITIC in Greenville, SC.


Car Tech is Speeding Down the Fast Lane

Plug-in electric vehicle charging will soon be a thing of the past. In the latest issue of Machine Design, Dr. Joachim Taiber explains some of the ways electric cars of the near future will be charged. ITIC is one of the country’s only testing and validation center’s for in-motion and stationary wireless charging, and offers a number of other services for testing electric, autonomous and the latest conventional vehicles.  Contact us for all your automotive testing needs.

ITIC Addresses Smart City Planning Needs

artistic-asphalt-automobiles-799443Recently, ITIC Chief Technology Officer Dr. Joachim Taiber participated in a Smart City Best Practices Forum hosted by ARC Advisory Group. Dr. Taiber was one of several speakers who shared insights regarding the important considerations that must be undertaken in order to plan a smart city and the challenges that must be overcome. There were also a number of best practice examples presented from communities that are already successfully incorporating smart mobility systems into their transit offerings.

Click here for a complete video recap of the ARC Annual Smart City Planning Forum. If you are involved in Smart City planning, contact ITIC for guidance.





ITIC Serves a Multitude of Automotive Testing and Training Needs

Sometimes we just need space, and lots of it when it comes to automotive testing and training. That’s why ITIC was created. To serve the vast needs of the Southeast’s booming automotive industry. As noted in this month’s issue of Southern Automotive Alliance, ITIC’s one-mile straightaway test track can be configured in unlimited ways to suit the needs of automotive OEMs, suppliers and technology providers, and organizations like police departments that use ITIC’s test tracks for officer training drills.

Read the full story here and see if your organization might benefit from the services of ITIC.

ITIC Participates in Joint “Shanghai Declaration”

The city of Shanghai is seeking to work with international organizations in building an intelligent connected transport system that has zero emissions and zero casualties. At a conference held there this week, ITIC joined the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Shanghai’s government, the British Embassy in China, the UK’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Nomura Research Institute, and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research in issuing a “Shanghai Declaration” that calls for more international cooperation on developing intelligent and connected vehicles.

“In the coming future, we will accelerate the demonstration and application of intelligent and connected vehicles in Shanghai. We will strive to build an innovation center of intelligent and connected vehicle with global influence by 2020,” said Rong Wenwei, general manager of Shanghai International Automobile City.

The city will enhance innovation in intelligent and connected vehicle technology, and set up public platforms for research and development, testing, evaluation and demonstration of intelligent and connected vehicles.

For more details, click here.

ITIC Validates Proof of Concept for Dynamic Electric Vehicle Charging

NetObjex Inc, an Irvine, CA based IoT-BlockChain platform company, in partnership with the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC), recently unveiled a proof of concept solution for dynamic electric vehicle wireless charging using the IOTA decentralized network and cryptocurrency.

The platform provides for decentralized universally unique identification of objects thereby enabling device Discovery, Authentication, Communication and Transactions.   The solution demonstrated how a car could drive on a lane dedicated for wireless EV charging while in motion, and provide for usage based billing. For this, the NetObjex platform integrated the IOTA decentralized network and used the transaction fee-less MIOTA cryptocurrency.

Click here to read the full press release.

ITIC to Develop Vehicle-In-The-Loop Testbed for $1.16M Automated Vehicle Project

The International Transportation Innovation Center’s closed testbed in Greenville, S.C., will become the test site for a breakthrough research project designed to make connected and automated vehicles up to 20 percent more energy efficient. The project – led by researchers at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CUICAR) – was recently awarded a $1.16 million grant from the Department of Energy. Using cellular communication and dedicated short range radar (DSRC), researchers plan to design speed and lane selection algorithms “that are anticipative in nature rather than reactive” to reduce unnecessary braking and idling, which wastes fuel.

“This particular project requires a unique vehicle-in-the-loop testbed that augments connected and automated vehicles driving physically with injected simulated or real data interacting on the sensor and control level,” explains ITIC Chief Technology Officer Dr. Joachim Taiber. “ITIC also successfully implemented and tested DSRC technologies for Clemson University in previous project engagements and will leverage this expertise to provide the communication infrastructure to support connected and automated vehicle testing.”

Find more details about the CU-ICAR project in this article from Upstate Business Journal.

Hello, Olli!

On April 10-12, ITIC organized another important technology workshop at The Seaside Institute in Seaside, Florida. In the effort to develop a long-term, sustainable mobility solution for Seaside and other beach communities located along Florida’s popular 30A Corridor, ITIC gathered together key stakeholders such as IBM, Cisco, Intel, AT&T, Proterra and Local Motors to explore potential mobility pilot projects designed to solve the community’s most important and immediate transportation issues. Discussions traversed the topics of vehicle options, potential technology and automotive partners, data input and output needs, infrastructure needs and improvements (e.g., road, communications, electric grid), and local community expectations.

As we’ve shared before, Seaside was the country’s first New Urbanism community, developed in the 1980’s by Robert Davis. Ironically, Seaside’s very success at creating a world-renowned pedestrian friendly community turned it into a major tourist destination resulting in staggering traffic congestion and parking issues. Today, the congestion along the scenic highway leading to and from this idyllic beach community threaten its image and desirability. ITIC is leading a team of technology and mobility experts to create a solution that will return Seaside to its captivating, pedestrian-friendly roots.

One of the solutions we explored during our recent workshop was the use of automated shuttles, such as Olli – the famous AI-driven vehicle developed by Local Motors and powered by IBM Watson technology. To test local reaction, the ITIC team in partnership with Local Motors and IBM put Olli to work in Seaside.

(Video credit: @modusphoto)

We orchestrated demonstrations throughout the three days in Seaside to show how traffic and parking issues could be eliminated through the use of a mobility service like Olli and other zero-emission vehicles. Whether in-town or in residential neighborhoods, Olli’s short stature and easy-going pace was right at home alongside Seaside cyclists and pedestrians.

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ITIC would like to thank the Seaside Institute for its steadfast determination in bringing a visionary solution to the local region. We are also grateful to the ongoing collaborative spirit of technology providers such as IBM, Local Motors, Proterra, Cisco, Intel and AT&T, as well as that of many Florida state and local governmental bodies and municipal organizations. Our sum is only as good as its parts and the team we are assembling is world-class in every way.

We encourage you to follow ITIC on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up with progress on the 30A Mobility Project. The solutions we develop for Seaside may very well have a profound influence on an improved quality of life for your community.