At some colleges, students are playing an important role in developing high-tech transportation tools, including driverless shuttles. These four institutions provide hands-on experience in the transportation technology of the future.
The Center for Automotive Research at Stanford has been including students in autonomous vehicle research since its 2008 launch. As part of a recent project, engineering students tested an algorithm to help driverless vehicles avoid obstacles.
Texas Southern University:
At the TSU Center for Transportation Training and Research, students will be involved in all aspects of the driverless shuttle pilot, from surveying students about acceptance of the technology to participating in hands-on research and development as the project evolves.
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Sacramento State University (Calif.):
Members of the transportation studies faculty at Sacramento State are working on a curriculum that includes the study of autonomous vehicles. “When the pilot launches, we want students to get their hands on the technology,” says Tony Lucas, senior director of university transportation, parking and support services.
Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.):
In addition to participating in high-tech research conducted in CMU’s Traffic21 Institute, a team of 45 undergraduate and 90 graduate students helped craft driverless vehicle policies for the city of Pittsburgh. “We emphasize [real-world projects], not just lab studies,” says Chris Hendrickson, director of the Traffic21 Institute. “It makes students sought after by employers.”
Jodi Helmer, a frequent contributor to UB, is a North Carolina-based writer.