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Alabama A&M University (AAMU) and Toyota Motor North America have announced a  new student-led initiative.

The program, which begins this fall, will team students and faculty in a mobility project called “Clean Low Emissions Approach & Novel Transportation Innovation Practice” (CLEAN-TRIP).

“We partnered with AAMU because of their focus on renewable energy, strong STEAM programs, and history of preparing well-qualified graduates,” said Al Smith, group vice president, Toyota Social Innovation.

“By developing a mobility solution through collaboration with the community, we can help guide students to create better ways to move that also improve quality of life.”

Toyota is providing an initial grant of $300,000 to fund the initiative, which includes scholarships for students accepted into the program.

In addition to funding, students will work with Toyota to learn real-world problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Once in the program, the students will collaborate with community residents to better understand their mobility challenges, and then design, prototype and implement a pilot program.

The project is the first of a series of university mobility initiatives across the U.S. to be announced by Toyota.

“Creating a clean, safe and more efficient environment for the campus proper, as well as the immediate and larger community, has been a major thrust of AAMU for decades,” notes Dr. Ernst Cebert, facilitator of the project and professor within the College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences.

In 2017, AAMU also received funding from the Federal Transportation Agency to purchase zero/no-emission electric buses for its fleet.

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