DENSO collaborating with Texas A&M Engineering to advance autonomous vehicle research

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DENSO, one of the world’s largest automotive technology, systems and components suppliers, recently donated 30 Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC), devices, worth approximately $30,000 to the Texas A&M University College of Engineering to assist their study of the interaction of autonomous vehicles with the supporting roadway infrastructure. DSRC devices, which enable V2X or vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, are critical to connected and autonomous drive vehicles.

A significant amount of the public’s focus on autonomous vehicles has been dedicated to the vehicles themselves, but College of Engineering researchers are also studying ways that infrastructure will help enable an autonomous vehicle ecosystem. For example, DENSO’s DSRC devices are installed at intersections so traffic signals can communicate with autonomous vehicles to optimize traffic flow. 

The Connected Autonomous Safe Transportation (CAST) Program, a part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M, has been developing autonomous vehicles and performing research on the safety of the individual and entire ecosystem of autonomous and conventional vehicles, pedestrians and the environment. In an effort to accelerate the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles, CAST is advancing novel deployment paradigms and infrastructure-enabled autonomy (IEA) initiatives, where they leverage “connectedness” to off-load and dramatically redistribute autonomous-intelligence between the vehicles and the infrastructure.  

According to Dr. Swaminathan Gopalswamy, director of the CAST Program and senior research scientist at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), this partnership is invaluable. 

“Our ability to advance the development of these IEA initiatives will be significantly enhanced by DENSO’s generous donation of 30 DSRC units to Texas A&M Engineering,” he said. “These devices will be a critical part of the smart proving grounds we are developing at The Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus.”

Students and faculty in the CAST Program, along with researchers from the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and TTI will all benefit from the relationship with DENSO.

This growing relationship is also an early example of the value and potential for industry research partnerships at the RELLIS Campus. 

“We are pleased DENSO has made such a generous donation to the RELLIS Campus,” said John Barton, associate vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and executive director of the RELLIS Campus. “Their support through this gift of 30 DSRC units is important as we continue to develop the RELLIS Campus into a premier high-tech research and education campus focused on developing solutions to the challenges we face in the 21st century.”

DENSO is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. With its North American headquarters located in Southfield, Michigan, DENSO employs more than 23,000 people at 28 consolidated subsidiaries and four affiliates across the North American region. DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, totaled US $40.4 billion.