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Students Driving Autonomous Vehicles Toward Safer Future

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Students Driving Autonomous Vehicles Toward Safer Future

Aug. 28, 2019
A group of college students from around the United States spent their summer developing driverless car tech at the University of Arizona.

Students converged on the University of Arizona campus to research and develop autonomous vehicles technology as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

In August, they tested their technology on a driverless SUV.

“A big concern is safety,” explained Tamal Bose, head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We are looking at vehicle-to-vehicle communications, vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, and using those technologies to make the cars a lot safer than they are right now.”

The tests performed included making sure the vehicle stopped for pedestrians and other cars.

UA student Riley Wagner was part of a group that designed a special code.

“This code allows for simple motions to be made,” she said. “They can go straight or turn, either left or right. And they can also check whether or not the way they want to go is safe, both on the robot and on the car.”

The program is developing tech that could shape the future of the driverless car.

“There are lots of companies working on these things, new technologies. But at the UA, we are at the cutting edge,” Bose said.