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The Sun May Power The University Of Michigan’s Solar Race Car But Motorola Wireless Technologies Enable It To Talk With Other Cars


Motorola’s MOTODRIVE™ Architecture provides Solar Race Team with broadband car-to-car communications and a “wireless cruise control” application

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – October 27, 2005 – Motorola, Inc.’s (NYSE:MOT) MOTODRIVE™ Architecture helped The University of Michigan’s (UM) Solar Race Team place third during the World Solar Car Championship, a race across Australia, that took place September 25-October 2. Motorola worked with the Solar Race Team to equip their car, Momentum, with its Mesh Enabled Architecture (MEA®) Vehicle Mounted Modems (VMM) and develop a "wireless cruise control” application that enabled them to precisely set, monitor and control the speed of the vehicle.

During the race, a UM advance team traveling ahead of Momentum monitored upcoming speed limits and broadcasted the information remotely through the mesh-enabled VMM to set the maximum speed of the solar car. Motorola’s wireless car-to-car communication technology controlled the speed of Momentum throughout the 1,880-mile/3,000km race so it could not exceed the speed limit. Motorola technologies provided the UM Solar Race Team with a competitive advantage and enabled them to avoid possible speed penalties while other teams had to run at a more conservative, slower pace.

Jeff Ferman, a member of the UM Solar Race Team said, “Motorola’s MOTODRIVE technology helped us take top honors in both The North American and World Solar Car Championship. By working with Motorola, we had access to the latest mesh and wireless gear and worked to adapt it to our needs. The experience helped us show the future possibilities of technology – a day when cars are powered by the sun and communicating with one another.”

The Race Team also utilized Motorola cellular phones, data modems, two-way radios and satellite gear, which together provided the team with a very unique form of Seamless Mobility on a global scale. Additional information on the race can be found at:,,6557,00.html

Motorola began working with the UM Solar Race Team earlier this year and contributed to their win at The North American Solar Challenge. During the race, Motorola’s wireless cruise control application helped the UM team set a record by averaging 46.2 mph during the trek from Austin, Texas to Calgary, Alberta, in western Canada in 53 hours, 59 minutes, and 43 seconds.

Aided by the MOTODRIVE architecture and the VMM installed in the car, the UM team was able to compile a critical 55-page appeal to dispute 40 minutes of penalties for alleged speeding violations. The brief included in-car data, graphs, charts and maps to prove that the car at no time exceeded the posted speed limits. The penalties were all repealed in light of this comprehensive data.

Motorola is using a unique combination of experience gained in its automotive, public safety systems, communications infrastructure and wireless devices businesses to offer MOTODRIVE. This architecture is aimed at complying with the US government’s Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) initiatives which are expected to improve transportation systems by reducing accidents and traffic congestion.

“Today’s traffic managers are encountering significant challenges in reducing roadway accidents and congestion,” said Jim O’Connor, vice president, Motorola technology incubation and commercialization. “Motorola recognizes this need and is uniquely positioned to address it.”

Motorola’s MOTODRIVE architecture assembles components and technologies that quickly, securely, and reliably send large amounts of wireless data from transmitter devices, which are mounted on light poles along the roadside, to cars equipped with on-board devices. The cars are also able to send data to the pole mounted devices, and can even send and receive data to and from surrounding similarly equipped vehicles. MOTODRIVE test beds are available today and allow VII stakeholders to gain real-world, on-the-road experience.

About Motorola Mesh Networks Products
Motorola’s Mesh Networks technology was originally developed for the military battlefield in order to provide instant, ad-hoc communication networks where fixed infrastructure was not available or deployable. As a result, users receive a robust mobile broadband communications network that is self-forming and self-healing. Motorola’s unique Multi-Hopping® technology turns every mesh-enabled user into a router/repeater, so every user makes the network stronger. It also allows users to hop through each other and form instant ad hoc peer-to-peer networks among themselves.

About Michigan Solar Car
The University of Michigan Solar Car team is a non-profit project run entirely by students. The team is primarily composed of undergraduate students from business, engineering, and the liberal arts. Since its founding in 1989, the team has won 4 National Championships and placed 3rd in the World Solar Challenge 3 times. For more information:

About Motorola
Motorola is a Fortune 100 global communications leader that provides seamless mobility products and solutions across broadband, embedded systems and wireless networks. In your home, auto, workplace, and all spaces in between, seamless mobility means you can reach the people, things and information you need, anywhere, anytime. Seamless mobility harnesses the power of technology convergence and enables smarter, faster, cost-effective and flexible communication. Motorola had sales of US $31.3 billion in 2004. For more information:


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