Auburn University Building New Autonomous Vehicle Research Lab

Auburn University Building New Autonomous Vehicle Research Lab

Facility will be one of the few in the nation attached to a test track.

For researchers in Auburn University’s GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, prepping autonomous vehicles outside in Alabama’s elements — from the sweltering summer sun to pop-up thunderstorms — has become a near daily occurrence.

Whether researchers are debugging algorithms, installing sensors or running data analyses, much of the work from the GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, or GAVLAB, is done outdoors — and subject to Mother Nature’s whims.

Auburn University will soon have one of the nation’s only autonomous vehicle research facilities that is attached to a test track.

That is about to change with the planned addition of a sophisticated new autonomous vehicle research facility at Auburn’s National Center for Asphalt Technology test track. The facility is expected to provide a garage with multiple bays and lifts for commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, office space for researchers, a conference room and an observation area overlooking NCAT’s 1.7-mile oval test track.

The building, estimated to cost approximately $800,000, will be one of the few autonomous research facilities in the nation attached to a test track.

“The fact that we’ll have our own test track where we can run autonomous vehicles and autonomous testing attached to this facility I think will be an unbelievably unique asset,” said David Bevly, the Bill and Lana McNair Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the GAVLAB, along with assistant research professor Scott Martin.

Since Bevly joined the Auburn engineering faculty in 2001, the GAVLAB has built a strong reputation in autonomous vehicle navigation and developed a broad sponsored research portfolio, with projects ranging from the Department of Defense and the Federal Highway Administration to many private industry partners.

With various sponsors visiting each month, the facility’s planned observation area will give the GAVLAB team a high-quality space to demonstrate its research. Bevly’s group has also conducted demonstrations for legislators and the Alabama Department of Transportation.

“I think it will be a great facility for us as a team, but also to showcase our work,” Bevly said.

With a growing research thrust in transportation engineering, the autonomous research facility also demonstrates Auburn’s commitment to supporting these research initiatives.

“Dave and his GAVLAB team are one of our top research groups on campus, and their work has elevated Auburn to an internationally prominent position in navigation and vehicle dynamics for autonomous vehicles,” said Jeff Suhling, the Quina Professor and department chair for mechanical engineering. “Our department is proud to commit resources, along with the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, to support high-impact researchers. We think this facility will really help set us apart from other universities in autonomous vehicle research.”

Watch a video interview with David Bevly here

You May Also Like

Mitchell 1, ASE Present 2022 Technician of the Future Award

Nathanial “Nate” Nie of Mission Viejo, California, was named the 2022 Mitchell 1 / National Institute for ASE Technician of the Future.

Nathanial “Nate” Nie of Mission Viejo, California, was named the 2022 Mitchell 1 / National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Technician of the Future during the ASE Board of Governors Meeting and Technician Awards banquet held recently in San Diego, California.

“We congratulate Nate on being named the 2022 Technician of the Future,” said Nick DiVerde, senior marketing director, Mitchell 1. “His accomplishments thus far have demonstrated his commitment to excelling as an automotive technician and we know he will continue to be successful as he journeys down his career path.”

Schaeffler Group Releases Series of LuK TSBs

In conjunction with its REPXPERT service brand, Schaeffler provides technical tips and service information for LuK products.

GB Remanufacturing Releases 2022 Year in Review

The GB Reman 2022 Year in Review is available for download.

Survey Shows Greater Trust in Service Professionals

More than 70% reported increased levels of trust in repair shops and/or service technicians.

SMP Closes the Year with 214 New Part Numbers

SMP says it is committed to providing replacement parts for hybrids and EVs through its Standard and Four Seasons brands.

Other Posts

NRS Brakes Adds 18 New Part Numbers for Multiple Models

According to NRS, these additions cover around 11.7 million vehicles.

ASE Offering Options for Testing and Recertification

ASE offers three testing options for service pros – in-person testing; the ASE renewal app; and ProProctor remote testing.

Bosch Releases Hydro-Boost Power Brake Assemblies

Hydro-Boost Power Brake Assembly now available to independent repair shops and DIY’ers.

Akebono Expands EURO Ultra-Premium Disc Brake Pad Kits

Company increases coverage by over 640,000 vehicles.