Automated Vehicles

The applications surrounding successfully developing self-driving cars and other vehicles are reshaping not only the auto industry, but mobility worldwide. As a U.S. Department of Transportation designated AV Proving Grounds, Wisconsin is at the forefront of these transformative technologies, and the R&D we do contributes to revolutionizing how the world uses transportation. Scroll down or explore additional resources to learn more.

The Wisconsin AV Proving Grounds partners are a natural choice for the AV R&D because of the range of environments and facilities available to accommodate the testing of a wide variety of different technologies and applications. These range from lab-based and simulated environments, the closed track at MGA Research in Burlington, Road America in Elkhart Lake, corporate campuses, the UW-Madison campus, and public roads.

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Automated Vehicle Technology

Avid attention on automated or autonomous vehicle (AV) technology is widespread and burgeoning, and the collaborative groundwork being laid in Wisconsin is a prime example. Wisconsin is leading the development of deeper understanding of this transformative technology and how it can be harnessed for the greater good of society. Researchers with the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) assess the benefits, technical aspects, and risks of AV, as well as collaborate on policy issues with government. AVs are rapidly pushing technical, safety, acceptability, legal, regulatory, and liability boundaries.

AVs have significant potential to improve safety and quality of life. More specifically, AV shared mobility can provide ladders of opportunity to all, including previously underserved communities. Furthermore, AVs can bring significant new research and development opportunities to UW-Madison and new businesses to the state of Wisconsin, including startups and tech companies.

Navya Arma

How Automated Vehicles Work

AV Technology - Top View
AV Technology - Cameras

Cameras

Cameras gather visual information from the road and traffic control and send them to the controller for processing.

AV Technology - LiDAR

LiDAR

LiDAR sensors bounce lasers off of detected objects. LiDAR can detect road lines and assets and differentiate objects.

AV Technology - Radar

Radar

Radar sensors bounce radio waves off detected objects. Radar cannot differentiate objects.

GPS Unit

GPS Unit

The GPS unit identifies the precise position of the vehicle and aids in navigation.

About the Proving Grounds

The mission of the Wisconsin AV Proving Grounds (AVPG) is to provide a path to public road evaluation by contributing to the safe and rapid advancement of automated vehicle development and deployment, and providing a full suite of test environments, coupled with research, open data, and stakeholder communication. Our team’s philosophy holds paramount safety, followed by best practice tenets of security and open data. Without these fundamental elements, we recognize it makes little difference what our readiness is or what research and development objectives may be.

AV Working Group

Proving Grounds Objectives

Objective - Data and Sensing

Data and sensing including LIDAR, GPS, cameras, communications, and other sensors. This parallels the Safety Assessment point on Object and Event Detection and Response.

Objective - Testing and Validation

Testing and validation methods for AV systems.

Objective - Standards

Advancing standards, safety protocols, and security.

Objective - Vehicle Operations

Vehicle operations including speed, acceleration and deceleration, performance on grades and curves, and in the case of electric vehicles, range and charging time.

Objective - Interfaces

Human-machine interfaces such as sensors, communications, and responses. For this item, our team has the opportunity to leverage the full-scale driving simulator at UW-Madison’s College of Engineering.

Objective - Interaction

Interaction with pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds, cars, and traffic control devices.

Objective - Weather

Inclement weather operations including snow, ice, fog, and high winds. One of the larger unknowns for AVs is winter operation.

Objective - Passenger

Passenger comfort, public perception, and safety improvement.

AV microtransit developments, enhancements, and testing.

Testing Timeline

Testing timeline

Mandli Communications

MGA Research

Road America

UW – Madison

Corporate Campuses

City of Madison

Testing Facility

Testing Types

Proving Grounds Facilities

The team includes the second largest city in Wisconsin, the region’s largest private employer, a premier private proving grounds in operation for decades, one of the nation’s most reputable race tracks, public agencies, and Wisconsin’s flagship research university. Researchers with the UW-Madison College of Engineering will manage and oversee all aspects of the AV proving grounds work, as well as provide research, development, and data stewardship. A key partner on this team is the automotive proving grounds facility owned and operated by MGA Research Corporation near Burlington, WI. The City of Madison and other agencies are partners for AV policy development, regulation, and operations on their roads.

1

Mandli Communications

Fitchburg, WI

2

MGA Research

Burlington, WI

3

Road America

Elkhart Lake, WI

4

UW – Madison

Madison, WI

5

City of Madison

Madison, WI

6

Chippewa Valley Regional Airport

Eau Claire, WI

Additionally, we work with corporate campuses to test automated vehicles in workplace environments, accounting for such factors as safety, usability, and acceptance.

Automated Vehicle Events

IEEE Madison AVs

Madison, Wisconsin

October 19, 2017

ITS World Congress

Montreal, Quebec

October 29 – November 02, 2017

Our Partners

News from the Proving Grounds

Redefining Privacy in the Era of Connected Vehicles

The future of mobility will look and feel very different.  Want instant access to all your favorite TV shows so you can entertain your children wherever you go?  You got it.  How about access to directions, route changes, and knowledge of the intentions of all the vehicles around you?  Yup, consider it done.

Making this all possible is the world wide web, and the good news is 98% of all new vehicles in 2020 will be connected to the internet, with 100% expected by 2025.  However, along with the advantages of this connectivity, you get a mountain of privacy concerns.

The reality is that companies providing your in-car services – like entertainment and navigation services – will also have access to a slew of additional information about you, including how often you drive over the speed limit, how aggressively you drive generally, and where you go and how long you stay there; and that’s just for starters.  There is even talk of these service companies eavesdropping on your conversations or monitoring your emotions while you drive.

It’s unclear at this point how consumers will be able to keep these vehicles in check, but car companies can learn a great deal from the European Union’s (EU) latest attempts to regulate privacy.

On May 25, 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect, ushering in key protections for consumers. For example, a data subject – that’s you enjoying your connected vehicle services – must be able to withdraw consent as easily as you gave it.

GDPR also forces companies to factor in privacy concerns at the outset of product development lifecycles. This forces companies to think early on about what data they need, and for what purposes.  In other words, they shouldn’t just arbitrarily start collecting data, then figure out how to monetize it down the road.

Consumers should be pleased with these developments, but the real question remains: how well are companies implementing these requirements?

According to a January 2019 Cisco Study, there is still room for improvement.  Only 59% of companies reported meeting the GDPR requirements seven months after it went into effect, even though they could see GDPR coming down the regulatory pipeline years ago.

The report also highlights some consequences for not living up to the GDPR. For starters, companies’ sales cycles suffered; those who failed to meet GDPR requirements saw a 60% delay in their average sales cycle.

Another problem companies faced was a jump in costs associated with data breaches – which it turns out were more likely to happen when GDPR standards were not followed. For instance, there was a 27% higher probability of a data breach costing $500k for companies that didn’t meet GDPR requirements.

GDPR aside, perhaps the best example of the costs associated with ignoring customer privacy concerns is Facebook. In the last year alone, Facebook had the biggest single-day loss in stock market history at over $100 billion dollars and was also forced to enter multi-billion dollar negotiations with the FTC over privacy issues.

You definitely don’t want to drive a mile down that road auto companies.

It’s pretty simple, actually: consumer privacy matters and car manufacturers better start taking this issue seriously.  If we’ve learned anything, customers will flock to companies that take their data, and by default their privacy, seriously.

So, consider this fair warning, auto industry: we want our in-car television service, but that’s all.

Nothing more; nothing less.

 

Eric Nutt is the Chief Technology Officer of Mandli Communications, Inc., and an Associate Editor of the SAE International Journal of Connected and Automated Vehicles.

Follow Eric on LinkedIn.

 

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Contact the Proving Grounds

College of Engineering

1415 Engineering Drive

Madison WI 53706

United States

Wisconsin

608.890.0509

Washington, D.C.

202.568.2273

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