Tuesday November 06, 2018

MSU Researchers Develop Self Driving, Off Road Electric Car

Most self driving projects tend to focus on urban areas, and almost all of them focus on paved roads. But researchers and students from Mississippi State University are looking beyond roads with their recently unveiled "Halo Project" self-driving car. The modified Subaru Forester barely resembles the original car, as the researchers ripped out the whole drive train and replaced it with an electric one. Nvidia provided the brains for self driving, while four LiDAR sensors and stereo cameras let it make sense of the world. A custom suspension, special transmission, and 4 motors that reportedly provide about 7000 lb-feet of torque are part of the car. Interestingly, New Atlas pointed out that Land Rover is working on a similar project, and the site has some great images that aren't on the University's page.

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"Less than one percent of the Earth is paved, so we needed a vehicle that could be a capable development and test platform both on- and off-road. The Halo Project vehicle is all-wheel drive with tons of wheel torque from its four independent electric motors. This allows us to do research on topics like self-driving cars, even in rugged environments." The supercar, a modified Subaru Forrester, utilizes an on-board NVIDIA supercomputer that allows the vehicle to navigate on and off-road terrain without human intervention. MSU recently acquired property that CAVS will use to house an autonomous vehicle test track. CAVS also is developing the MSU Autonomous Vehicle Simulation platform.