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Two WVU Tech faculty members receive HEPC grant for Autonomous Vehicle Test Platform Project

Two WVU Tech faculty members, Dr. Nan Wang and Dr. James Cercone, recently received a grant of $19,909 from the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) for their Undergraduate Autonomous Vehicle Test Platform project.

“The Vehicle Test Platform (VTP) project is an integrated mobile test bed that uses an electric golf cart as its base platform,” states Dr. Wang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. “The VTP has been outfitted with GPS; an onboard microcontroller system; a radio modem link; video; sonar and infrared sensors; and remote control, fail-safe mechanisms.”

The VTP serves an ongoing laboratory design challenge in systems integration for the Electrical and Computer Engineering program. Students who are enrolled in specific courses have the responsibility of systems integration and low-level vehicle control systems.

“The Department of Computer Science has also been working with our colleagues in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department to research problems and test potential solutions associated with autonomous vehicles. We can investigate terrain mapping, intelligent vehicle navigation, real-time processing and telepresence control, “adds Dr. Cercone, professor of computer science.

Nearly 100 Electrical and Computer Engineering Students and 50 Computer Science students will have the opportunity to be involved in this project.