Our vision is to be the premier university-affiliated applied research center for the development and testing of autonomous vehicle-related technology.
Our mission is focused on three areas: research, partnerships and economic development. We aim to coordinate research and partnerships in the burgeoning industry of autonomous vehicles, as well as stimulate economic development.
Our goal is to be at the center point of larger proposals with the federal government and the state of Florida. We will achieve that through partnerships with industry leaders like Suntrax, among others, and suppliers like Intel, nVidia, etc. We will stimulate the economic development of the industry by enabling functions for Florida industries and research parks.
SunTrax Groundbreaking Ceremony: November 15, 2017
Autonomous vehicles impact on the public transportation industry. Public transportation has been one of the most active areas for the use of autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies.
One of Florida’s most visible communities (The Villages, Florida) has announced the pending availability of autonomous taxi service. Public utilities are viewing autonomous vehicle as a solution to a number of vexing issues such as solving the last mile problem (bus stop to house) or raising the efficiency of existing fleets or even providing on-demand 24-7 access.
In addition, the pace of pilot projects is accelerating around the world. Bloomberg Philanthropies keeps these projects up to date on its website. Some important pilots include Uber’s work with Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania and Waymo’s (Google) work in Phoenix, Arizona. In Florida, nearly every public authority ranging from Jacksonville Transportation Agency to Department of Transportation Orlando, LYNX, is considering the use of this technology.
Autonomous vehicles impact on the logistics industry
As we draw closer to a fully autonomous future, new opportunities arise in the field of logistics and transportation to increase mobility, transportation efficiency, and safety. To make this happen, the infrastructure of cities has to be redesigned to support self-driving vehicles. Highway planners in Wisconsin are already thinking about the possibility of creating a driverless vehicle lane on Interstate 94 to accommodate Foxconn’s large factory in Racine County.
Furthermore, self-driving trucks are planned to be introduced in the market. The trucking industry is currently short 50,000 drivers because drivers either retire or quit. Self-driving trucks can help solve this problem. Embark, a start-up company, is already hauling Frigidaire refrigerators along Interstate 10 from El Paso, Texas, to Palm Spring, California, using a self-driving truck, but with a driver on board for now. Similarly, Uber has delivered 50,000 cans of beer using a Level 3 autonomous truck along the Interstate 25. Level 3 refers to vehicles self-driving most of the time, but a driver needs to be ready to take over control.
- Labor shortages and potential for fuel savings driving logistics providers toward autonomous vehicle technology
- Robotic truck testing trials
- Trucking and self-driving future
- Tesla Trucks
Autonomous vehicles impact on the planned communities industry
A recent article in REALTOR Magazine highlights the excitement around the impact autonomous vehicles technology will have on planned communities.
“Prime real estate will also be unlocked for new home construction. Places once used for parking lots, auto dealerships, and gas stations will become obsolete with self-driving cars. That may free up prime real estate for housing …Builders will be able to get significantly higher density, and consumers will be buying a home where 100 percent of the square footage is livable,” said Rick Palacios, Jr. in a September 4 article titled “How Driverless Cars will reshape housing?”
Autonomous vehicles impact on the agriculture industry
It’s tempting to overlook agriculture when discussing autonomous vehicles technology. But there are more applications than you might believe. Commercial drones are already in place, using sensors to assess the need for fertilization, irrigation, crop health, crop maturity and productivity potential. On the horizon are robots capable of monitoring, cultivating and harvesting crops 24/7, with little or no human labor involvement.
In the short term, sensors and automation hold promise for Florida agricultural industries long dependent upon troublesome labor politics and economics. Autonomous vehicles related technology will allow surveying, planting, maintaining and harvesting of crops at levels of efficiency never before seen.
The dozen [KPM6] C-level executives who attended the Executive Summit were an audience to a presentation by Gary Wishnaski, president, and CEO of Wishnaski Strawberry Farms in Plant City, Florida. The company grows, harvests, packs and ships strawberries throughout the United States.
Autonomous vehicle program at Florida Polytechnic University
Florida Polytechnic University has an exciting and growing autonomous vehicle education and research program. The university has a specialized course in autonomous systems and self-driving vehicles. Developed through a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the course focuses on the technologies, algorithms, designer, and development of autonomous systems. In addition, Florida Poly has a robust transportation and logistics program geared towards students interested in advanced mobility and logistics topics.
Our project-based education is focused on applied principles of autonomous vehicles. This includes projects such as; a student developed self-driving golf cart, a solar-powered self-driving golf cart, a self-steering/driving electronic bicycle, an autonomous, and a follow-me drone for first responders. The university’s planned flow for autonomous vehicle engineers focuses on current enabling technologies and required software techniques for our future transportation engineers. In addition to our undergraduate program, Florida Poly plans to introduce an executive certification for autonomous vehicles.