GREENVILLE, South Carolina — According to Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) researchers, the average operating cost of a taxi is $2.40 a mile. An Uber: $1.80. And a connected or autonomous vehicle? Just 60 cents.

“It’s safe to say autonomous vehicles are the future and it’s even safer to say that that future is getting closer and closer to the present,” explained Venkat Krovi, Michelin Endowed Chair Professor of Vehicle Automation at CU-ICAR.

Representatives from some of the most prestigious and cutting-edge automotive companies have come together for the inaugural SAE Automated and Connected Vehicle Systems Testing Symposium, which is being held on the CU-ICAR campus in Greenville.

With all 33 major auto companies now having some form of an autonomous vehicle program in place, SAE International and Clemson decided it was about time to host an event like this and bring the industry’s smartest minds together.

“All these manufacturers can make a quality autonomous vehicle,” Krovi explained, “but moving from prototype to commercial product, that’s the real challenge. The idea of this conference is talk about ways we can all work together to make this happen quicker.”

In the past, the idea of automotive competitors sharing ideas would have been unthinkable.

“Keeping things to yourself, in-house, that’s the old mindset. This is like the gold rush,” Krovi explained. “There’s land aplenty. And as people are going around trying to stake their claim, they’re realizing they need help. It’s time we all worked together to make this happen.”

During symposium, technical experts will discuss ideas and methods to bridge the gap between technologies and products to address the top challenges of automated vehicle use in the public transportation system. This event will dive deeper to address the underlying engineering frameworks, showcase the engineering challenges, discuss systematic choices and how they are made, and the comparative analyses needed to create reliable engineered products. The main sessions will be on topics ranging from what standards should be adopted industrywide to monetizing vehicle connections, as well as two keynote speakers. There will also be an interactive element open to the media.

Barry Smith, director of the National Center for Ontological Research (NCOR) and professor of philosophy, biomedical informatics, computer science and engineering, and neurology at SUNY Buffalo, will share some methods used in the biomedical and military fields that might prove useful to the automotive industry.

Thomas A. Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, will share some of his research methods, which involve instrumenting vehicles with unobtrusive video cameras and sophisticated instrumentation to assess crash and near-crash data.

A portion of the symposium will be open to the media as Clemson University’s newly unveiled Center for Connected Vehicles will showcase connected vehicle technologies on Thursday, starting around noon.

To find out more about the symposium, visit the event link here.

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Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research
The Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) is a 250-acre advanced-technology research campus where university, industry and government organizations collaborate. CU-ICAR offers master’s and Ph.D. programs in automotive engineering and is conducting leading-edge applied research in critical areas, such as advanced product-development strategies, sustainable mobility, intelligent manufacturing systems and advanced materials. CU-ICAR has industrial-scale laboratories and testing equipment in world-class facilities available for commercial use. www.cuicar.com

SAE International
SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, it drives knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. SAE acts on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. It strives for a better world through the work of its philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion and the Collegiate Design Series.