Michigan Speedway to open tech center

Updated: January 26, 2009, 2:21 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Michigan International Speedway is working with the state to use and market the track known for NASCAR events to research and test advanced vehicle technology.

The speedway in the Jackson County community of Brooklyn said Monday the project will give automakers and others the chance to test and develop "connected vehicle technologies" in a closed, neutral facility.

Officials say it would be the first facility of its kind in the U.S.

The technology allows vehicles to communicate with each other and outside devices such as traffic signals or electronic signs to prevent collisions and improve traffic flow and fuel efficiency.

State and speedway officials say the center could boost job creation and the state's automotive research and development industry.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press