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Schumer promotes use of Rochester technology

Sen. Charles Schumer

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., on Thursday urged Secretary of the Army John McHugh to implement Rochester-made technology to more accurately track vehicle performance and improve fleet operations and safety.

The technology was developed at the Rochester Institute of Technology by a growing local company, Vnomics. In the letter, Schumer notes that vehicle monitoring systems can generate savings of $3,000 per vehicle and increase fuel efficiency by an average of 10 percent.

“The Army should take this state-of-the-art technology developed in Rochester and put it to use across its fleet of vehicles,” Schumer said. “Expanding the U.S. military’s use of this technology beyond the U.S. Marine Corps will improve vehicle fleet operations and safety, result in massive savings for the Defense Department, and create good-paying jobs in Upstate New York.”

Vnomics has grown from a single employee to 18 employees and is looking to move into an expanded space as it seeks to apply its systems in commercial trucking operations as well. It is currently housed in RIT’s Venture Creations incubator for emerging businesses.

Increased demand from the military would help create jobs and bring new economic opportunities to the Rochester area. According to a 2010 Army Report to Congress, the Army fleet currently includes 260,000 vehicles. The fleet size represents a tremendous opportunity to improve safety, reduce costs, and create economic opportunity for Upstate New York.

Originally developed by RIT researchers funded by the military, Vnomics’ Remote Vehicle Diagnostics Software (RVDS) will be installed on 7,000 Marine Corps vehicles. The systems track engine and general maintenance performance metrics in order to provide feedback to drivers on the road and troops in the field.