Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – General Motors Corporation and Carnegie Mellon University have announced a new Collaborative Research Lab (CRL) and a renewed commitment to work jointly to accelerate the emerging field of autonomous driving, with the goal of producing a family of electronics and software technologies that could influence the way drivers and vehicles interact in the future.

The CRL is being established under the terms of a five-year, US$5 million agreement; it will operate as an extension of GM’s Global Research & Development network and will be located at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Faculty from the university’s School of Computer Science and College of Engineering will participate.

“GM and Carnegie Mellon University have a lengthy and successful history of working together on autonomous and robotic technologies,” said Alan Taub, executive director of GM Research & Development. “We have a shared vision of developing technologies that have the potential to resolve transportation challenges. Continuing this successful working relationship is a natural next step toward achieving our mutual goals.”

GM teamed with Carnegie Mellon last November to win first place in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, a competition for driverless vehicles over a 55-mile (88 km) course of urban and suburban roadways held in California.

“Research in this new lab will focus on creating and maturing the underlying technologies required to build the autonomous vehicle of the future,” said Raj Rajkumar, Carnegie Mellon professor of electric and computer engineering and co-director of the new CRL. “Autonomous vehicles will change the face of transportation by reducing deaths and injuries from automobile accidents and increasing the convenience and comfort of vehicles.”

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