Pitt to help put electric car on information highway
Data collected from tiny electric vehicles being tested at the University of Pittsburgh may help in the development of a big idea.
Pitt researchers will start testing Innova Dash cars, made by Innova UEV, on campus this summer.
The yearlong project is a collaboration among Pitt; Internet2, a global, advanced technology research community; and Innova UEV, an electric car manufacturer based in the Chicago suburbs.
A key goal of the project, officials said, is to explore the Internet of Everything, as seen in Cisco commercials, a still-developing concept of connecting all devices with an on-off switch to the Internet and each other. The Dash, for example, will simultaneously send data back to university researchers without prompting, which could yield data that will help the Internet evolve, said principal investigator Ervin Sejdic, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering.
“These studies could yield important advancements in everything from improved battery technology to fully autonomous vehicles,” said Aaron Foster, a spokesman for Innova UEV.
The company produces vehicles for research purposes, but it plans to debut a commercial model in 2015.
Internet2 hosted a research competition, and selected Pitt, Colorado State University, the University of Wisconsin and University of Washington to test the cars, spokesman Todd Sedmak said.
“What they really wanted to see is, if they give a bunch of cars to various universities, what the students and faculty at these universities will come up with,” Sejdic said.
Pitt was selected because of research it has conducted at its Center for Energy, which educates undergraduates and graduate students in energy-related fields, Foster said.
“We were in a pretty strong position, and we had a good base to build on,” Pitt project manager Brian Stengel said. “We're looking forward to getting these vehicles on campus and putting them through their paces.”
Innova UEV will provide each university with four Innova Dash vehicles and a modest stipend for research costs, Stengel said. The vehicles are 100 percent electric and can provide feedback about road and vehicle conditions, Foster said.
Two cars will go to the engineering school and one each to computing services and systems development and parking, transportation and services. Each department will use the cars for different purposes, ranging from normal, everyday use to special tests that measure electrical consumption or monitor driving behavior.
“If you hook up a bunch of sensors to the drivers, you can measure physiological indicators like heart rate and sweat,” Sejdic said. “When a driver is stressed, do they press the gas pedal more or are they braking more?”
Sejdic said results will be shared among the schools and could be used by commercial car manufacturers to improve their products. Pitt could even use the results to its benefit, he said.
“We'll be sharing the usage patterns with several offices on campus, sharing info as to how much (the cars) are used and when, as well as typical draws from outlets and how long it takes to charge,” Stengel said. “That information ... could help the campus decrease its carbon footprint.”
Corinne Kennedy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Two jail inmates died at UPMC Mercy, medical examiner’s office says
- Baldwin-Whitehall teacher charged with assault for hitting male student in chest
- Trooper fatally shoots burglary suspect inside Somerset grocery store
- Steelers offensive line targeting injury-free performance as key
- Blasts at pro-Kurdish party offices in Turkey called political; 6 wounded
- Strong finish motivates young Penn Hills softball team
- Yemen truce ends as strikes resume
- Medical Examiner personnel at scene of Coraopolis train-pedestrian incident
- Officials envision reinvigorated Allegheny County Airport
- Struggling Pirates SS Mercer finding himself out on infield’s left side
- Harmar OKs Sheetz land development plan