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Students driving autonomous vehicles toward safer future

TUCSON – A group of college students from around the country used their summer to help drive autonomous vehicles toward a safer future.

The students converged on the University of Arizona for the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

On Tuesday, they tested their technology on a driverless SUV.

“A big concern is safety,” explained Tamal Bose, the UA’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head. “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 on Tuesday 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 U of A, we are at the cutting edge,” Bose said..




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Aalia Shaheed

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