Michigan became the fifth state to approve its roads for autonomous driving vehicles this week. In this same week, General Motors has renewed its five year partnership with research partner Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh to help develop autonomous driving technologies.
GM and Carnegie Mellon previously developed “Boss”, a self-driving Chevrolet Tahoenamed after GM Research and Development founder, Charles F. “Boss” Kettering. In 2007, Boss managed to navigate 60 miles of mixed traffic, intersections and stop signs in less than six hours to win the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge competition.
Since then, the two parties have established the GM-CMU Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab, which focuses on developing key automated vehicle technologies including sensor fusion and system controls. The labs projects are aligned with GM’s next generation of crash avoidance technologies.
For the past two years, the team at Carnegie Mellon has been developing and testing a series of crash avoidance technologies on a Cadillac SRX crossover. Researchers from GM conduct technology reviews as well as provide guidance and feedback to the team at CMU.
“The work we’re doing with Carnegie Mellon is speeding the development of technologies designed to enhance the driving experience,” said John Capp, director of GM R&D’s Electric and Control Systems Research Lab. “This collaboration is just one example of how GM is leveraging strong partnerships to bring innovative technology to market that will benefit our customers around the globe.”
Some of the most basic technologies needed for autonomous driving, such as range adaptive cruise control and automatic braking, are available on Cadillac’s newest models, the 2014 CTS, ATS and XTS luxury sedans.
“Automated vehicle technologies have the potential to improve driver performance, enjoyment and safety by easing workload when traffic and road conditions allow, but ultimately vehicle operation will always be the driver’s choice and responsibility,” Capp said. “GM and Carnegie Mellon are making rapid progress toward making these technologies production viable.”