March 14, 2005
A team of Carnegie Mellon University Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) researchers received funds for ongoing research from General Motors to continue smart car research that will revolutionize the way vehicles and drivers interact.
The research aims to make the vehicle of the future more aware of driver needs, traffic and weather conditions, and other external information using on-board sensors and wireless data networks.
"What we are seeing now is that the car is no longer this discreet, independent object, but rather the spoke in a complex web of sensor technology that will ultimately link us to the world," said Ed Schlesinger, head of Carnegie Mellon's ECE Department.
One of the many projects under way in the General Motors Collaborative Lab at Carnegie Mellon (GM-CM CRL) is peer-to-peer networking, the ability to turn the car into a mobile sensor.
"Essentially, what we are doing is allowing vehicles to relay information between themselves and the Internet at large," said Dan Stancil, a professor in ECE, collaborative lab team member, and director of the Center for Wireless and Broadband Networking (CWBN).
The team has installed laptop computers, GPS antennas and webcams in four GM vehicles, creating an ad hoc mobile wireless network. The network provides the driver with a cache of critical information designed to keep drivers and passengers safe and on time wherever they may be headed.
Carnegie Mellon researchers are working to develop an automatic stop sign detector for vehicles by mounting cameras on vehicles to measure the amount of time it takes drivers to stop at dangerous intersections. The team also is working on a number of projects focused on the manner in which cars are designed and how the systems within the vehicle configure themselves to optimize the overall system performance.
The peer-to-peer networking team includes engineering students Rahul Mangharam, Jake Meyers, Suchit Mishra and Dan Weller. The director of the GM-CM CRL is ECE and CS Professor Raj Rajkumar.