Towards Autonomous Vehicles

From the self-driving Google car to plain old cruise control, automation in vehicles is an important issue. The aim of this project is to document the state-of-the-art autonomous vehicles for use in the United States transportation sector, specifically on U.S. roads and highways. A literature survey will be conducted that spans several intersecting fields, including artificial intelligence, robotics, mechatronics, military unmanned vehicles, intelligent transportation systems, and human factors. Many factors influence the adoption of autonomous transportation systems, including the pace of evolving technology, trust in automation, infrastructure demands, and the regulatory landscape. These themes will be woven into the report as they are critical pieces of the story of automation. Of particular interest is the cycle of innovation, development, government/military deployment, technology transfer, commercialization, and regulation that iteratively advance the state of the art in a field such as automation. One such example of a cycle of automation advancement started with a call for innovation from DARPA in the form of a Grand Challenge, and later an Urban Grand Challenge for the development of unmanned autonomous ground vehicles. This resulted in a flurry of innovation and technology for the military. It has also borne technology transfer fruit leading directly to the development of the Google car. This cycle is continuing with the creation of a new office in the United States Department of Transportation on automation and cybersecurity that may result in regulations for autonomous vehicles even as it spawns new topics of research. The researchers plan to lay out the trajectories of component technologies and other contributing factors in the development and adoption of automated transportation systems. A desired outcome of this research is that the final report may be used as a guide to select future research topics in the short-, mid-, and long-term on this important topic.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $43869.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Iowa, Iowa City

    102 Church Street
    Iowa City, IA  United States  52242
  • Principal Investigators:

    Thomas, Geb

    Schwarz, Chris

  • Start Date: 20120701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 32785

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01483141
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mid-America Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC07
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2013 1:01AM