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IUPUI works with Toyota on autonomous vehicle technology

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The future of self-driving vehicles is in full swing. Indianapolis may be a key player when it comes to developing the future technology.

IUPUI has partnered with Toyota to work on a road departure test and method development project. They are one of eight universities across the country at work on 11 different projects.

Inside IUPUI’s Transportation Active Safety Institute, or TASI for short, students and researchers are able to use a simulator to test various scenarios.

“I think it’s very interesting and very fun here. You can drive here and pretend you’re a driver testing these functions on the road,” said IUPUI graduate student Qiwen Deng.

The road departure detection and control project would create a feature where the vehicle would take over if the driver got distracted to prevent a crash. That would be essential in the case of a fully autonomous vehicle. Another project the school is working on is seat design for a fully autonomous vehicle. A smart sensing system would be able to detect in real time where each person is in the vehicle in case there was an accident.

Researchers believe the future is bright when it comes to self-driving vehicles.

“I would say down the road, probably 10-15 years, we will see some production of autonomous vehicles on the road,” said IUPUI professor Yoabin Chen.

The school has worked with Toyota for a few years now. In the past, they have done extensive research on local drivers that enabled them to create crashable maniquins. Those maniquins are hooked up to a cable system and mimic cyclists and pedestrians crossing the street. They are able to walk and run and have skin that mimics human skin when detected by radars.

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