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Sept. 11, 2023

MSU drones and solar racing car to be featured at Detroit Auto Show

Michigan State University will showcase its latest mobility and student research as part of AutoMobili-D during the 2023 North American International Detroit Auto Show on Sept. 13 and 14.

WHAT: MSU Mobility will display its drone technology, student solar race car and MSU’s Formula SAE team at the Detroit Auto Show along with MSU researchers and collaborators who will reveal the latest research in the safety and security of autonomous vehicles and the development of sustainable electrobiofuels.

In partnership with the University Research Corridor — a cluster of three public research institutions in the state — MSU, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University will highlight their current research related to mobility.

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 13 and Thursday, Sept. 14, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WHERE: The URC will have four booths (booths 421, 423, 425 and 427) as part of AutoMobili-D at the Detroit Auto Show (Huntington Place, 1 Washington Blvd.,


Wednesday, Sept. 13

Booth participation:

  • Judd Herzer, the new director of MSU Mobility, will discuss his plans for MSU Mobility and student opportunities.
  • Prerana Gunda, MSU’s Solar Racing Team president and current MSU student, will talk about the new solar racing car design and battery protection.
  • Gavin Gardner, chief engineer for NASA Graduate Research at Michigan State University and project manager for MSU Drone Research and Innovative Flight Technology, will discuss two NASA University Student Research Challenge grants — one to help keep drones charged while flying and the other to develop solutions for using drones to make heavy deliveries.

Thursday, Sept. 14

Panel discussion: In addition to booth activities, at 2 p.m. Judd Herzer will participate in a panel discussion about mobility talent hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on the AutoMobili-D stage. Panelists will discuss how their universities are leading the nation in preparing students who will take their talents into the ever-changing mobility industry.

Booth participation:

  • Cameron Hesano, chief engineer for MSU’s Formula SAE team will talk about the transition to an electric vehicle and how this program is creating the next generation of engineers.
  • Chris Saffron, an associate professor in the MSU College of Engineering, will explain current research about sustainable electrobiofuels.
  • Xiaohu Lu, a doctoral candidate in the MSU College of Engineering, will explain his autonomous vehicle safety and security research, including protecting autonomous vehicles from hackers.

Interviews: To arrange an on-site interview with an MSU Mobility expert, please contact Emilie Lorditch at or (443) 848-8748.

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