In a breakthrough four-year-long partnership, Florida Polytechnic University and Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) from Estonia have propelled their autonomous vehicle (AV) technology research to newer heights. This collaboration has not only fostered the exchange of resources, knowledge, and skills between the two esteemed institutions but has also rippled benefits further afield.
Harnessing Florida Poly’s prowess in AV verification and validation, and complementing it with TalTech’s competence in operating AV technology on an open-source software-powered shuttle, the partnership bore fruit in the form of PolyVerif—an open-source ecosystem. This environment offers avant-garde tools crucial for testing and affirming the reliability of AV technology.
Highlighting the significance of such a platform, Dr. Rahul Razdan, the spearhead for special initiatives at Florida Poly and a key figure at its Advanced Mobility Institute (AMI), remarked, “To expedite solutions for the existing safety conundrums in AV technology, a robust research platform is indispensable. That’s precisely the void our joint endeavor with TalTech fills.”
Interestingly, their research findings have been implemented by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, another associate of AMI. On the flip side, the preliminary legwork with TalTech paved the way for Auvetech—a commercial entity provisioning AV shuttles globally.
Professor Raivo Sell, the torchbearer of the AV research division at TalTech, expressed, “Our coalition with Florida Poly’s Advanced Mobility Institute has been monumental in crafting tools pivotal for AV technology’s progression. The road ahead is laden with opportunities to collaboratively tackle pivotal obstacles related to safety, testing, and verification.”
Highlighting the depth of the alliance, Professor Sell dedicated months at Florida Poly, synergizing with the faculty and crafting a solid research paradigm. This collaboration was instrumental in securing a grant from the National Science Foundation for Florida Poly’s AMI.
Both institutions, Florida Poly and TalTech have resonated influence way beyond their mutual venture. In a testament to their growing recognition, TalTech proposed a series of lectures to be delivered by Razdan, given his expertise, under the Baltic American Freedom Foundation’s aegis. These sessions spanned across Estonia, Finland, and Latvia, with one notably at the FinEst Centre for Smart Cities—an institution committed to revolutionizing urban landscapes through technological innovation.