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New autonomous vehicle course provides students with real world opportunities
With autonomous vehicle technology quickly growing in popularity, a new course, “Autonomy in Vehicles,” taught by Levent Guvenc PhD, professor in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has received attention from a wide range of students.
“Some students take the course to help them get started in AV (autonomous vehicle) research, some of them just want to take it because it sounds cool and some of them take it because there is a high demand for engineers with interest and experience in AV and the jobs being offered are good,” said Guvenc.
The course, open to undergraduate seniors and graduate students, is designed to provide a high level view of autonomous and connected driving. Guvenc provides his students with realistic projects that can be implemented into real world situations.
This past semester, the students began the course by developing a preliminary design for an autonomous shuttle that can travel the one mile distance between CAR and CAR West. Students selected the appropriate sensors and computers and determined decision making logic for the shuttle. Their final project was then to design a circular AV for the trolley route at Easton Towne Center.
Throughout the course students also had the opportunity to visit Ohio State’s Automated Driving Lab where they were able to look at the sensors and equipment being used in AV development, get information about them and see how they are being used. Some of the sensors they saw in action were LIDAR, a detection tool that measures distance with a laser light and provides 3D point cloud of the environment with a 360 degree view angle, camera, radar and DSRC radio for vehicle to everything communication. On top of that, students were able to watch a demonstration of the visualization of the environment with some of these sensors on RTMaps software.
This course will be offered in alternating years as a distance education course, open to working professionals who want to gain knowledge in this area.
“A course like this, complemented by other courses at Ohio State, is a fundamental part of an intelligent vehicles track,” said Guvenc. “Ohio State has placed importance on autonomous vehicles as the first university in the country to develop automated driving work. All of the exciting developments like the Smart Center at TRC, Smart Columbus, US-33 Smart Mobility Corridor and Drive Ohio will soon result in AV deployments in Ohio and attract AV jobs to our state. It is Ohio State’s duty to offer first class research and education in AVs to support these goals.”
Written by Colleen Herr, CAR Marketing and Communications Specialist