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Florida Polytechnic University Hopes to be a Leader With Self Driving Cars

September 24, 2018 - 6:00am

Florida Polytechnic University is taking a major role in the creation and development of self driving cars. 

Last  week, Florida Poly launched the Advanced Mobility Institute (AMI) which will be  “focused on the development and testing of autonomous vehicle (AV) related technology.” 

“AMI is not only unique to the state, but also one of the largest university centers specialized on the narrow area of testing and verification of AV technology in the country,” the university noted in the announcement on Tuesday. “The research efforts target key issues that require solutions before a successful deployment of autonomous vehicles is achievable. Some of the research already taking place includes early detection of troublesome scenarios, stress test sensors, object recognition, electromagnetic interference, and human-machine verification. AMI also focuses on public outreach and advanced education of AV technologies.”

“AV technology has the potential to have an impact as significant as the internal combustion engine,” said Rahul Razdan, a senior director for special projects at Florida Poly. “However, to reach its potential, a quantum leap is necessary in the verification of these technologies. Without this work, the full capabilities of AV technology will not be realized.”

AMI is also partnering up with a host of groups including SunTrax, a testing facility run by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) including a 2.25 mile track, which opens in 2019. 

“SunTrax will be the first step in building the surrounding area into a destination for the development of this quickly advancing technology, while providing Florida Poly a unique opportunity for its students to participate in the testing and development of transportation and mobility innovations,” said Paul Wai, the executive director and CEO of FTE.

Florida Poly President Randy Avent said the new institute and its partnerships will help advance self driving cars across Florida and boost the university. 

“The Advanced Mobility Institute is another way in which Florida Poly is working to research solutions to the challenges of implementing connected and autonomous vehicle technology,” said Avent. “With the AMI and our growing autonomous vehicle education program, I see Florida Poly positioning itself as a leader in the applied research and development of this emerging technology.”

Dean Bushey, the director of AMI, also sounded an optimistic note and showcased a course he designed on self driving vehicles. 

“I’m excited about the future and look forward to establishing lasting partnerships with industry executives while building strong relationships with state and local government leaders,” said Bushey. “No doubt AV technology is going to shape so many aspects of our society in the near future and AMI will be a major hub for its development here in Florida.”


Digital alchemy.

why waste all that money on this? just why?

Good question, it is a lot of money. When (not if) self driving cars are universal, the advantages will be enormous. It will be genuinely life changing. Off the top of my head: Denser traffic with less space between cars means less roads will need to be built. Speed limits will be higher, commutes shorter. Deaths will drop dramatically, of course there will always be malfunctions. Currently there are 33,000 deaths per year. Many people won't need to buy their own car, just call one up like Uber. Parking will no longer be a problem. Police won't need to write traffic tickets. The old and disabled will still be able to get around. There's probably a dozen more advantages I haven't thought of.

Was just thinking the name is long and no one calls it by it's letters until I sounded it out, FPU!!…………...Did not anyone think of the problems that will cause, jokes made of by rivals, etc for decades to come?

I've been watching this for 20 yrs now and many of the best have been doing it heavily for 8 yrs now and little to show for it...……….... I'm starting to wonder if it can be done other than in limited places, speeds...…………...And a test track is not going to cut it more than the first tests. …………...In the real world there is just too many variables...……………….So 90% of it will be a waste of money though good for students to learn the systems which can be used in many ways like robotics.

A supreme waste of money !

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