Auburn University has opened its new autonomous vehicle research facility at the National Center for Asphalt Technology test track, one of the few facilities of its kind in the nation attached to a test track.
The facility will aid researchers in the university’s GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory. It houses a garage with multiple bays and lifts for commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, office space, a conference room and an observation area overlooking NCAT’s 1.7-mile oval test track.
“The fact that we have our own test track where we can run autonomous vehicles and autonomous testing attached to this facility I think is an unbelievably unique asset,” said David Bevly, the Bill and Lana McNair Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the GAVLAB, along with assistant research professor Scott Martin.
Started in 2001, the GAVLAB has already worked on a number of autonomous vehicle navigation projects with the Department of Defense and the Federal Highway Administration, as well as private industry partners.
“Auburn is a major player in transportation engineering research in the nation,” said Steve Taylor, associate dean for research. “The GAVLAB and our other transportation engineering researchers have brought in nearly $50 million in sponsored research awards over the past three years. This new facility is an exciting development for Auburn and there will be much more to come.”
The GAVLAB’s research is centered on three areas: sensor fusion/integration, online system identification and adaptive control techniques and their application to vehicle dynamics and transportation. The research includes heavy trucks, passenger cars and off-road vehicles.