Lero to lead €4.2m national research collaboration on driverless vehicles

Prof Brian Fitzgerald, Lero
Prof Brian Fitzgerald, Lero

Programme combines Irish academia, global automotive and Irish firms

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7 October 2019 | 0

Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre, has launched a €4.2 million research collaboration on driverless vehicles.

Researchers from Irish academia, global automotive and Irish firms will tackle the key challenges facing the development of driverless vehicles. The companies involved in the project will work on various autonomous systems projects across the automotive, industrial and agricultural sectors.

Any vehicles that operate in the same environment as pedestrians, animals and human-run vehicles will receive special attention.

Science Foundation Ireland contributed €2 million to the programme.

Researchers from across Lero, and SFI research centres Connect and Insight will work with various partners on the project. This includes multinational industry partners such as Jaguar Land Rover, Kostal, Liebherr and Valeo; large indigenous Irish companies like Combilift and Dairymaster; and smaller Irish companies including Greenval, Mobimetrix, PMS Pavement Management Services Ltd, Reamda and Transpoco.

Professor Brian Fitzgerald, director, Lero said: “Revenues from autonomous systems have been projected to be worth over $100 billion by 2030. There is no reason why Ireland cannot be a serious research player in this vital sector.”

“Autonomous systems (AS) represent a disruptive technology that is a crucial component of many industries, all of which are key to Ireland’s future growth,” said Dr Siobhan Roche, director science for the economy, Science Foundation Ireland.

“The research knowledge gained in this programme will help to build world-leading capability in AS, helping to establish Ireland as an important player in the autonomous IT eco-system and delivering outcomes that can play a significant part in Ireland’s economy.”

“The launch of this collaboration is a significant development as it brings together researchers from three key areas: software, analytics and connectivity,” said Dr Aisling O’Driscoll, funded investigator with Connect and lecturer at University College Cork.

“Connect’s researchers will focus on the connectivity challenge… Working with our industry partners, we will explore ways to make communication networks faster, more reliable and capable of handling increased information flows, while preserving privacy. Ultimately, the goal is to make transport safer, less congested, and more environmentally friendly.”

“The industry-led partner project will use inexpensive and unobtrusive sensors, mainly cameras, addressing situations where decisions are required in real time,” said Professor Noel O’Connor, interim CEO of Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics. “Research will use a user-centred methodology to aid in user acceptance of connected/autonomous vehicles”.

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