Estonian and American universities to collaborate on developing self-driving cars

Tallinn University of Technology has signed a co-operation agreement with Florida Polytechnic University to join forces for future development and increasing the security of automated vehicles.

TalTech started developing Estonia’s first automated vehicle from scratch in 2017 and in the summer of 2018, presented the first prototype. The university announced on 10 April that it had signed a cooperation agreement with Florida Polytechnic University Advanced Mobility Institute to take the development onto next level and integrate automated vehicles to real traffic situations in a safe way.

“Self-driving cars and other autonomous systems are one of the most paradigm-changing technological developments in today’s world. Transportation is affecting every single person and has a large impact on economic development. There will be huge challenges to solve and international cooperation is crucial here,” the university said in a statement.

Safety is the key issue

According to TalTech, Florida Polytechnic University is a leading institute focused on the test and verification of autonomous vehicles in the US. Florida Polytechnic University Advanced Mobility Institute “has developed unique verification and scenario simulation tools to analyse and find edge situations in respect of safety and accident analysis. They are working towards a concept which will change the whole paradigm how transportation is handled and coordinated on cloud-based solutions,” the university said.

The research collaboration will use Florida Polytechnic University’s capability in testing to improve the robustness of TalTech’s automated vehicle in realistic environments. “Safety is the key issue in the deployment of self-driving cars. The validation methodology and simulations of scenarios give us significant added value and enable the development of safer technical solutions for self-driving cars,” Raivo Sell, the manager of the self-driving car project and scientist at TalTech, said in a statement.

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Cover: TalTech’s AV tested in front of the university’s main building in Tallinn.

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and politics and society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter and like his page on Facebook. You can write to Silver at silver@estonianworld.com.