Autoliv Inc., the world’s largest automotive safety supplier, has donated nearly $9,000 worth of automotive electronics to Lawrence Technological University’s effort to develop an autonomous campus taxi.
The supplier donated a 16-beam 3D LIDAR (laser-based radar) system to help the vehicle create a three-dimensional model of its surroundings in real time, along with seven automotive radar units. Both will help the vehicle on its planned path around LTU’s Southfield campus.
The donation was acknowledged in a brief ceremony Monday at LTU, attended by Autoliv executives.
“We are profoundly grateful to Autoliv for this important donation, which will help our students continue their pioneering research into autonomous vehicles and automotive safety,” said Hsiao-Ping Moore, dean of LTU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Added Frank Judge, engineering manager for North America division at Autoliv: “It is important for students to have access to the latest automotive sensor technology to prepare themselves for real world applications as vehicles move from level 2 to level 5 autonomy. It will not be a single sensor that provides this solution but rather a suite of sensors and software working together, just as students will be doing for the Spec 2 competition. It is also important to harvest new talent and ideas from University level students as we develop new features and new technologies for the automotive industry. Autoliv is excited to support these activities and build upon the Lawrence Technological University relationship.”
Both the LIDAR and radar units will be installed on a Polaris GEM e2 two-seat electric vehicle.
LTU computer science students have already won an international award with the vehicle. They developed software to make the car operate autonomously – well enough that it took first place in the new Spec 2 division of the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, held at Oakland University in June. The Spec 2 competition required multiple self-driving vehicle functions such as lane following, lane change, traffic sign detection, obstacle avoidance, and left turns.
Autoliv, based in Stockholm, Sweden, has more than 70,000 employees in 27 countries, including 22 technical centers in nine countries, with 19 test tracks. Included is Autoliv Electronics America, an engineering center in Southfield, and Autoliv Americas, its American headquarters and technical center in Auburn Hills.