August 6, 2019

UA summer program offers experience with self-driving tech

Students from all over the country test their skills using an autonomous car on campus.

Self driving class Summer students learning self-driving car technology at UA.
Tony Perkins

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College students have wrapped up a summer-long project on self-driving cars by remotely driving an autonomous vehicle on the University of Arizona campus.

A dozen undergrads came to Tucson from across the country for 10 weeks of coding, experimentation and data analysis. The final test was a demonstration drive to experience how an autonomous vehicle actually works. The UA's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering provided the car for the summer class.

Daniel Fishbein, a physics student from New Hampshire, said the experience of programming and driving an autonomous car made him excited about the future of self-driving technology.

"They drive themselves to do various tasks, that's super cool to me," said Fishbein. "I also got a really good insight into what grad school looks like, what the research process looks like, and how research is done."

Students piloted the car around a marked zone in a parking lot on the UA campus. The project gave them a rare chance test their theories and then use the car to see them in action.

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