By Marjorie Censer / March 31, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Speaking to reporters at a breakfast in Washington this morning, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, emphasized his previous work to bring the research and development work of the commercial auto industry and the military vehicle business together -- and said he'd “continue to do that.”

“Twenty years ago, there was a huge gap between the development of technology which was being worked on for the military vehicles, for instance, and commercial vehicles, whether you're talking about crash avoidance . . . energy efficiency, unit materials, you name it,” Levin said today.

Yet, engineers at TACOM Life Cycle Management Command and General Motors were “literally half a mile apart,” he added.

Today, “there's now much greater coordination of research and development,” according to Levin.

“There's greater efficiency in that, and there's also great usefulness in terms of the capabilities of those technologies,” he continued. “So I worked very hard to do that . . . and I'm going to continue to do that.”