LTU students, professor in autonomous vehicle project at next year's Detroit auto show

Release Date: November 8, 2019

SOUTHFIELD – Five Lawrence Technological University students and LTU computer science professor CJ Chung will work with a Korean auto parts company and a Russian tech giant to create a taxi service from Detroit’s TCF Center to downtown Detroit hotels for the 2020 North American International Auto Show in June.

LTU will assist Hyundai Mobis, the parts and service arm of the Korean automaker, and the Russian technology company Yandex, in the development of 10 four-passenger sedans in the largest demonstration to date of Yandex’s robotic taxis in the United States. The vehicles will be programmed to take passengers to their destinations, although there will be a driver who could take control if needed. 

The Yandex-Mobis-LTU collaboration was one of five corporate mobility challenge projects announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Oct. 21. The projects will offer autonomous transportation around downtown Detroit during the auto show’s media preview, industry preview, and the public show, a period scheduled to stretch from June 6 to June 21, 2020. 

“We’ll be evaluating the on-demand riding service through a mobile app and testing their vehicles, collecting data, and writing a report on the vehicles and the service,” Chung said. 

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Sponsored by Mobis, Chung and his students have been working for more than three years on autonomous vehicle software—code that is now integrated into an autonomous two-passenger electric vehicle that is regularly seen in testing around LTU’s Southfield campus.

Chung said the taxis would follow predetermined routes from the auto show at TCF Center to and from downtown Detroit hotels and entertainment venues.

“Mobis is excited for this opportunity to expand our collaboration with LTU, Professor Chung, and his students. The Mobility Challenge is the perfect venue to work together to demonstrate the exceptional capabilities of Yandex’s autonomous taxi system in the demanding NAIAS environment,” said Doug MacKenzie, senior manager of Autonomous Vehicle Advanced Engineering at Mobis North America.

“Building and deploying 10 of our world-class self-driving cars for the Detroit Auto show is an exciting opportunity to advance our tech in one of the world’s leading automotive hubs,” said Preston Carey, senior vice president of International Business Development at Yandex. “We look forward to collaborating with Hyundai Mobis and Professor Chung and his students at Lawrence Tech, an institution that has contributed invaluable knowledge to the automotive industry in Michigan for decades. Yandex has a deep commitment to supporting education through our work with universities, and we’re excited to be working with the team at LTU.”

The governor’s NAIAS 2020 Michigan Mobility Challenge was announced in May at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference. The challenge required each mobility project to have an academic partner. The challenge is being managed by the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s mobility unit, PlanetM. 

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 15 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Yandex is a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning. Our goal is to help consumers and businesses better navigate the online and offline world. Since 1997, we have delivered world-class, locally relevant search and information services. Additionally, we have developed market-leading on-demand transportation services, navigation products, and other mobile applications for millions of consumers across the globe. Yandex, which has 34 offices worldwide, has been listed on the Nasdaq since 2011. More at https://yandex.com/company/

Hyundai Mobis is a global Tier-1 automotive supplier. It was established in 1977, and is headquartered in Seoul, Korea. The corporate philosophy is to become a lifetime partner on technologies for automobiles and people. Hyundai Mobis currently employs approximately 30,000 people. Manufacturing operations are in over 30 locations in 10 countries, including Korea, China and the U.S. Products include automotive modules (chassis, cockpit and front-end), brakes, steering, suspensions, airbags, lamps and automotive electronics.  R&D headquarters are in Korea with four technical centers worldwide in Germany, China, India and the U.S.  Hyundai Mobis has mass-produced a great number of ADAS technologies and green car components.  For more information, please visit the website (http://en.mobis.co.kr).

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