ATREL Welcomes New Visitors

ICT is constantly welcoming new visitors to its facility, including some recent high-profile visits from several political and business leaders. 

Rick Snider, Charles Smith, Imad Al-Qadi, and Robert Flider discuss future development at ATREL.

In August, Rantoul Mayor Charles Smith, Rantoul Village Administrator Rick Snider, and UIUC Director of Community and Government Relations Robert Flider paid a visit to the Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL) and the Accelerated Transportation Loading System (ATLAS). Smith and Snider have recently showed an immense amount of support for ICT, particularly in relation to the Smart Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (STII), which is preparing to build a two-mile connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) test track on more than 250 acres of land in the community.

ICT Senior Research Engineer Greg Renshaw gives visitors a tour of ATLAS.

The test track, which has been dubbed the Illinois Automated and Connected Track or I-ACT, would allow researchers to test self-driving vehicles in a variety of real-world scenarios, including approaching a railroad crossing, an intersection with traffic signals, and encountering a bicyclist or pedestrian.

Congressman John Shimkus and other visitors join ICT Director Imad Al-Qadi for a walk around the grounds.

Flider is a former state representative and director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture who took up his new post with the University in April. All three were given a tour of the labs and a chance to meet with ICT engineers.

Visitors take a tour of ATLAS.

In September, Smith and Snider returned for another visit accompanied by Congressman John Shimkus, State Representative Mike Marron, Illinois Municipal Electric Agency President and CEO Kevin Gaden, several of Gaden’s colleagues from the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, and Village of Rantoul board members. The visit comes just a few months after Shimkus pledged his support for the development of I-ACT. ICT engineers, students, and staff led Shimkus and the other visitors on a tour of ATREL and ATLAS, and also gave a presentation on the proposed track.

To find out more about our facilities and take a virtual tour of our labs, click here.