The Center for Sustainable Mobility (CSM) was established in 2006 as part of major grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to assess the environmental and economic impacts of different alternative fuel and propulsion technologies on the U.S. public transportation system. Today, the CSM remains an advanced research and development center committed to sustainable transportation systems, emissions reductions, reduced dependency on non-domestic fuel sources, and future transportation challenges. From fleet logistics for fuel efficiency and vehicle health monitoring for predictive maintenance to fuel cell propulsion and electric vehicle (EV) charging technologies, the reach and impact of CSM projects aims both to improve existing transportation infrastructures and transform the face of modern mobility altogether.
To support this kind of research, the CSM houses an engine dynamometer equipped to handle a variety of alternative fuel technologies, a full chassis dynamometer, an electric vehicle (EV) propulsion lab, and a motion-based vehicle simulator that provides an immersive and high-precision testing environment for driver behavior studies. The CSM also has five EV charging stations, with capacity for nine vehicles, which can be monitored to study EV use, vehicle charge rates, and energy demand dynamics. Beyond these tools, CSM also maintains a team of experienced engineers equipped to leverage both basic research capabilities for new advanced technology development, and years of industry experience in applied technology and systems design, evaluation, and demonstration. With expertise in areas from life-cycle design strategies to integrated systems management, CSM resources are well-suited to address a diverse array of contemporary and future challenges in the advancement of sustainable mobility.
In leveraging these capabilities, CSM partners with industry-leading companies, local and state governments, and federal agencies to lead initiatives in comprehensive research, applied development, testing, and field implementation. From fundamental research in solid-oxide fuel cells for the U.S. Office of Naval Research to implementing on-vehicle and central-office logistics systems for improved operational efficiency at Rochester’s own public transit authority, CSM projects accordingly cover a broad spectrum of technologies and application areas. This flexibility, versatility, and breadth of expertise has made the CSM a collaborator of choice in both existing systems modernization and advanced sustainable transportation technology development.
Ultimately, as the U.S. transitions away from predominately petroleum-based propulsion, a robust and sustainable mobility infrastructure will require a diverse combination of new, clean mobility technologies and non-traditional fuel systems, each of which are supported by a continuum of complementary technologies that vary with vehicle size, purpose, and travel distance. In this pursuit, the CSM works with sponsors focused on the development and advancement of sustainable mobility technologies that minimize environmental impact, maximize economic value, and satisfy long-term uncertainties about energy security.