FL Polytechnic to focus on Self-Driving Cars

LAKELAND (970 WFLA) -- Florida Polytechnic University is taking a leading position among U.S. universities in autonomous vehicle technology... a field that includes self-driving cars and more. 

Florida Poly says it's creating a research center focused on developing AV tech. The Advanced Mobility Institute will target some of the issues standing in the way of putting large numbers of autonomous vehicles on the road. Those include recognizing objects, detecting dangerous situations and interference from radio-frequency signals and other sources. Research in those fields is already taking plans. AMI also plans to focus on outreach and advanced education in AV fields. 

Poly and the state university system are partnering with the Florida Turnpike Enterprise, which is building a 400-acre testing facility near the campus for its toll systems. Poly's connections with Polk County landowners helped bring the Suntrax project nearby. 

The Institute's director, Dr. Dean Bushey, says Poly and the rest of the university system get a "huge" win by establishing a relationship with FTE and getting the opportunity to use the Suntrax site for advanced research. Students and faculty will get to research and test state-of-the-art technologies, working with businesses that could become future employers. 

Bushey says the institute has already begun developing relationships with state and federal government agencies and is seeking partnerships with companies interested in AV technology. 

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