Auburn University Researchers Working on Autonomous Vehicles

Specifically accurate navigation using the fusion of low cost sensors

Auburn University on the cutting edge of research for driverless cars.

Professors and students are zeroing in on how to make autonomous navigation safer and make the high tech systems a lot cheaper.

In the United States, around 40,000 people are killed every year in a car accident and it’s the number one killer ages 1 to 33. Most of those accidents are due to human error.

So, Auburn University researchers at the College of Engineering are part of the future in developing safe autonomous vehicles.

“There are computers and autonomous systems that are handling a lot of the load. I think these systems will be introduced slowly in certain scenarios where it makes sense and then overtime a lot of car companies talking about wanting a 0 death kind of thing,” said Dr. David Bevly, Director of Auburn University’s GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory and Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Beyond the safety factor of autonomous vehicles, they say another benefit is efficiency. For example: traffic is stop and go from human reaction. Dr. Bevly said if you can increase flow time you can reduce the amount of time you are in traffic.

What they are working on specifically is accurate navigation using the fusion of low cost sensors.

“Looking at ways that can be improved, ways the cost can be lowered by looking at more intelligent algorithms that make use of lower cost sensors and so on and so forth. It’s just one small piece of the overall automated driving we’re doing here at Auburn University,” said Dr. Bevly.

Some of the research graduate students working on this autonomous vehicle and navigation projects are excited to be part of this project.

“That’s the great thing about research. You’re looking at these things before going into the vehicle and before they are being mass produced,” said Dan Pierce, Auburn University Doctoral Student.

“There is a little more time and focus figuring out what’s going on in the systems and subsystems in developing the algorithms that will enable the autonomous future,” said Lowell Brown, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Auburn University.

Their research is also used in the Agriculture industry. They’ve done work with John Deere, truck companies and with the Department of Defense.

The Army is looking at self driving vehicles for the same thing. For safety reasons, removing humans from dangerous situations and for efficiency, transporting goods through multiple vehicles and the ability to not have a human in every vehicle. Auburn University developed that technology and have tested it on defense trucks as well as commercial trucks.

Related Articles