Media Advisory: Self-driving car demo Friday at UB North Campus

Autonomous SUV.

An autonmous vehicle, similar to the one pictured above, will be demonstrated Friday at UB. Credit: Southwest Research Institute.

The event, featuring elected officials and researchers, will highlight cutting-edge transportation research

Release Date: June 22, 2016

Liesl Folks.
To address transportation issues, "the University at Buffalo has created a robust and cross-disciplinary research enterprise which focuses on making traffic systems smarter, sustainable and safer for all users."
Liesl Folks, dean
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Few recent technological advancements have generated as much buzz as self-driving cars. From Silicon Valley to Detroit and beyond, researchers are working around the clock to bring autonomous vehicles to the masses.

While that’s still a few years away, the Buffalo Niagara region will get a preview of the future on Friday with a self-driving vehicle demonstration in a parking lot at the University at Buffalo’s North Campus.

The event will feature a self-driving SUV developed by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), a Texas-based, nonprofit applied research and development organization. The vehicle is designed to improve safety at roadside construction projects.

When: The event begins at 10 a.m. with welcome remarks, a few short presentations on transportation research initiatives at UB, and a tour of UB’s driving simulator. Demonstrations of the self-driving SUV start at 11 a.m.

Where: Davis Hall (building No. 25 on this map: on UB’s North Campus.

For the event, Southwest Research Institute has partnered with UB’s Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Logistics, and the UB-headquartered Transportation Informatics Tier 1 University Transportation Center, both of which conduct cutting-edge transportation research, as well as UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“Transportation affects everything from the natural environment and property values to the competitive advantage of businesses and the safety of pedestrians. To address these complex issues, the University at Buffalo has created a robust and cross-disciplinary research enterprise which focuses on making traffic systems smarter, sustainable and safer for all users,” said Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA, dean of UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Erie County, which is exploring implementing Southwest Research Institute’s technology in roadside operations, is also a partner in the event.

“The transportation industry continues to evolve and Erie County is paying close attention to the advances that are being made in roadside operations,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “The implementation of anything that can improve the safety of drivers and pedestrians cannot be ignored. We look forward to working with our various partners in government as well as from the private sector related to the use of autonomous vehicles.”

Founded in 1947, Southwest Research Institute is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organizations in the U.S.

“Southwest Research Institute has a long and rich history of applied research and innovation. The autonomous vehicle that we are bringing to the Buffalo area is an example of the multidisciplinary, problem-solving products and services that we excel at providing to clients,” said Michael Brown, staff engineer at Southwest Research Institute.

Media Contact Information

Cory Nealon
Director of News Content
Engineering, Computer Science
Tel: 716-645-4614
Twitter: @UBengineering