Tag Archives: Autonomous Vehicles

LTU researching autonomous taxi with gifts from MOBIS, Dataspeed, SoarTech, Realtime Technologies

SOUTHFIELD — Lawrence Technological University has begun the research and development of an autonomous campus taxi thanks to donations from several corporate partners.

Hyundai MOBIS, the parts and service division of the Korean automaker, donated $15,000 for the purchase of a Polaris GEM e2 two-seat electric vehicle. Dataspeed Inc., a Rochester Hills engineering firm specializing in mobile robotics and autonomous vehicle technology, converted the vehicle to an autonomous drive-by-wire system.

Also donating to the effort were a pair of Ann Arbor high-tech firms – Soar Technology Inc. provided a LIDAR (laser-based radar) unit to help the vehicle find its way, while Realtime Technologies Inc., a simulation technology firm, provided a cash donation.

Hyundai MOBIS formally turned the keys of the vehicle over to LTU Provost Maria Vaz and C.J. Chung, professor of computer science, in a ceremony on the LTU campus last week. Vaz thanked the sponsors for providing a great learning and research opportunity. David Agnew, director of advanced engineering at MOBIS, made the presentation.

David Agnew of MOBIS hands over the keys of a Polaris GEM e2 converted to a drive-by-wire EV by Dataspeed Inc. to Maria Vaz, LTU Vice President and Provost. (Photo by Matt Roush)

LTU computer science students have already won an international award with the vehicle. They developed software to make the car operate autonomously – well enough that it took first place in the new Spec 2 division of the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, held at Oakland University in June. The Spec 2 competition required multiple self-driving vehicle functions such as lane following, lane change, traffic sign detection, obstacle avoidance, and left turns.

After winning at IGVC, team members began reprogramming the vehicle to serve as an autonomous taxi on the LTU campus. It’s been rechristened ACT, an acronym for Autonomous Campus Transport/Taxi, in a naming contest won by Nick Paul, one of the team members. Chung said the university is planning to introduce Level 3 autonomy with the vehicle – allowing both hands and eyes off the road – by August 2018.

A video of the car in competition at the IGVC is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSzxPp66vxk&feature=youtu.be.

From left to right are C.J. Chung (LTU faculty); Serge Danielson-Francois (LTU faculty); Gordon Stein (LTU faculty); Devson Butani (LTU mechanical engineering student); Chris Kawatsu (SoarTech); Avram Kluger (LTU advancement staff); David Agnew (MOBIS); Mitchell Pleune (LTU computer science student); Jane Tarakhovsky (MOBIS), Nick Paul (LTU computer science student), Patrick Nelson (LTU faculty), Maria Vaz (LTU Provost), Brian Neumeyer (Dataspeed), Alex Sebastian (Dataspeed), and Howard Davis (LTU advancement staff). (Photo by Matt Roush)

Lawrence Technological University, http://www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

UM Research Claims Huge Advance In Testing Self-Driving Cars

ANN ARBOR — Mobility researchers at the University of Michigan say they have devised a new way to test autonomous vehicles that bypasses the billions of miles they would need to log for consumers to consider them road-ready.

The process, which was developed using data from more than 25 million miles of real-world driving, can cut the time required to evaluate robotic vehicles’ handling of potentially dangerous situations by 300 to 100,000 times. And it could save 99.9 percent of testing time and costs, the researchers say.

They outline the approach in a new white paper published by Mcity, a UM-led public-private partnership to accelerate advanced mobility vehicles and technologies.

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Denso Opens R&D Center At UM

SOUTHFIELD — The Japan-based auto supplier Denso Corp. announced the opening of the Denso R&D Lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The company said 12 UM students were selected to help on various research projects being undertaken at the lab. The projects will begin this month and continue throughout the year.

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MSU autonomous vehicle featured at AutoMobili-D at 2017 NAIAS in Detroit

EAST LANSING — Michigan State University will display a cutting-edge autonomous concept vehicle and related technology during AutoMobili-D at Cobo Center from Jan. 8-12 — a premier feature of the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

MSU’s green-and- white vehicle is equipped with a variety of intelligent devices and sensors, such as laser radars, or lidars, that create a 3D map of the driving area as well as advanced algorithms that allow a vehicle to maneuver in its environment.

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Ford Debuts Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Development Vehicle

Ford Debuts Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Development Vehicle

DEARBORN — Ford Motor Co. has introduced its next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle. The new vehicle uses the current Ford autonomous vehicle platform, but ups the processing power with new computer hardware.

The company says electrical controls are closer to production-ready, and adjustments to the sensor technology, including placement, allow the car to better see what’s around it. New LiDAR (laser-based radar) sensors have a sleeker design and more targeted field of vision, which enables the car to now use just two sensors rather than four, while still getting just as much data.

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Driverless shuttle introduced at Mcity

ANN ARBOR — A fully autonomous, 15-passenger electric shuttle manufactured by French firm Navya will support research and provide self-guided tours of Mcity, UM’s test site for connected and automated vehicles.

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UM Offers Open-Access Automated Cars For Driverless Research

ANN ARBOR — New University of Michigan research vehicles will be open testbeds for academic and industry researchers to rapidly test self-driving and connected vehicle technologies at a world-class proving ground.

These open connected and automated research vehicles, or open CAVs, are equipped with sensors including radar, lidar and cameras, among other features. They will be able to link to a robot operating system. An open development platform for connected vehicle communications will be added later.

The open CAVs are based at Mcity, UM’s simulated urban and suburban environment for testing automated and connected vehicles located in northeast Ann Arbor. While a handful of other institutions may offer similar research vehicles, UM is the only one that also operates a high-tech, real-world testing facility.

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Hella Working On High-Tech Auto Seating

PLYMOUTH — Hella, the German auto supplier with U.S. operations in Plymouth, announced that it’s working on advanced new auto seating technology — for example, locking and unlocking “turntable” seating in autonomous vehicles, or folding and unfolding an SUV’s rear seats.

Semi-automated seat architecture under development at Hella, as well as locations in China and Germany, is designed to meet a wide variety of future market needs created by the emergence of “megacities,” aging populations, the growing popularity of SUVs and interest in the development of automated vehicles.

Further development of the existing architecture is being driven by the company’s product planners and development engineers and will expand the architecture offering to include features that will help adjust backrests, rotate seats, move entire rows of seats and even have the ability to support future active safety concepts.

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UM robotics building design approved, including space for Ford

ANN ARBOR — Robotic technologies for air, sea and roads, for factories, hospitals and homes will have tailored lab space in the University of Michigan’s planned Robotics Laboratory.

The UM Board of Regents has approved the schematic design for the $75 million building, which is slated for the northeast corner of North Campus in the College of Engineering.

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NAIAS Press Days To Feature Autonomous Car Conference

DETROIT — North American International Auto Show officials have announced that John Krafcik, CEO of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project, will kick-off AutoMobili-D with a keynote presentation on Sunday, Jan. 8.

AutoMobili-D will run in conjunction with the 2017 NAIAS Press Preview and will feature more than 100 technology and mobility-focused companies from around the world, including automakers, tier one suppliers and tech startups.

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