Ford Motor Co. to sponsor autonomous vehicle project at CU-ICAR

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Michigan-based automaker Ford Motor Co. has partnered with the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville to sponsor Deep Orange 10, a vehicle prototyping program.

Deep Orange is the flagship program of Clemson’s two-year master’s degree program in automotive engineering, according to a news release. The program provides graduate students an opportunity to work directly with industry partners (Ford, Michelin, Toyota, etc.) to design and manufacture a new vehicle prototype.

“We look forward to the fresh insights and the energy that the Clemson students will bring to the vehicle development process,” said James Forbes, user experience implementation manager at Ford Motor Co. “This collaboration will provide us a new perspective on the opportunities presented by cutting-edge technologies now available to us.”

Students participating in this year’s Deep Orange program will design and manufacture an autonomous electric vehicle, according to a press release. An autonomous vehicle is a form of personal transportation capable of operating without human control.

As part of the program, students will explore innovations in user experience, such as ride comfort, voice and gesture control, and integration of passenger biometric, and pose information with vehicle functions. They will also gain real-world experience in financial and market analysis, vehicle design, development, prototyping, and production-planning.

Pierluigi Pisu, an associate professor of automotive engineering at Clemson, who oversees the university’s Deep Orange program, said the upcoming project represents a unique and exciting challenge for students and faculty at CU-ICAR.

“Deep Orange 10 will give students an opportunity to experience the complexity of modern vehicle development and overcome the challenges of human-centered innovation for the autonomous vehicles of the future,” he said.

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