Researchers at Auburn University's GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory (GAVLAB) will no longer have to prep autonomous vehicles outside with the addition of its new autonomous vehicle research facility at Auburn's National Center for Asphalt Technology test track.
The facility will include 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 $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.
Since 2001, GAVLAB has developed a broad research portfolio, with projects ranging from the Department of Defense and the Federal Highway Administration to many private industry partners. The new facility also demonstrates the school's commitment to supporting autonomous 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."