Washington — The U.S. Department of Energy announced Wednesday that it is awarding a combined $9 million to Michigan colleges and other organizations to study advanced car technologies. 

The American Center for Mobility, a test facility for self-driving cars in Ypsilanti, is receiving $2.4 million for research involving fuel-efficient platooning on highways. Ford Motor Co. will get $2 million for "micro-transit/public transit" for movement of people.

The University of Michigan and Michigan State University are getting $2 million and $967,662 respectively for research that includes biofuels.

In addition, the DOE is partnering with the United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Warren to contribute $1.8 million for research into next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

The funding is part of a group of 42 projects worth $80 billion that the DOE is financing in an effort to support advanced vehicle technologies that can enable "more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials and enhance U.S. economic growth."

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Twitter: @Keith_Laing

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