The GM-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab is being established under the terms of a five-year, $5 million agreement. The lab will operate as an extension of GM's Global Research & Development network and will be located at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Faculty from the university's School of Computer Science and College of Engineering will participate.
GM teamed with Carnegie Mellon last November to win first place in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, a competition between driverless vehicles over a 55-mile course of urban and suburban roadways held in Victorville, Calif. The race was a historic event for personal transportation, and an emphatic proof point that autonomous technology is real - cars can drive themselves.
"Technologies ranging from electronics, controls and software to wireless capabilities and digital mapping could ultimately change how people drive and use their vehicles," said Larry Burns, GM vice president of R&D and Strategic Planning. "Imagine being virtually chauffeured safely in your car while doing your e-mail, eating breakfast and watching the news. The work we're doing with Carnegie Mellon is a big stepping stone toward making this a reality."
"Carnegie Mellon has been a pioneer in autonomous navigation of robotic vehicles, beginning in 1984 with our series of NavLab vehicles," said Rick McCullough, Carnegie Mellon vice president for research. "We are eager to see this technology used to improve the safety and convenience of the cars and trucks we depend upon every day and we could wish for no better partner than GM to make this happen."
"Research in this new lab will focus on creating and maturing the underlying technologies required to build the autonomous vehicle of the future," said Raj Rajkumar, Carnegie Mellon professor of electrical and computer engineering and co-director of the new CRL. "Autonomous vehicles will change the face of transportation by reducing deaths and injuries from automobile accidents and increasing the convenience and comfort of vehicles."