This research experience for undergraduates (REU) is engaged in the myriad of applications that are related to autonomous ground vehicles. This summer, 10 NSF-funded undergraduate students will participate in an immersive research experience, sitting side-by-side with graduate researchers and working on one of the most compelling, and complex, applications of today: autonomous systems.

Today's cars are getting more and more sophisticated in their behaviors, but true autonomy needs truly expensive sensors. Carlos Asuncion of UC Berkeley participated in the CAT Vehicle program in 2014, and he was interviewed by Ted Simons for the Arizona Horizon program on PBS 8 (KAET) in Phoenix, AZ.

 To watch the entire interview, visit

Carlos Asuncion (2014 Participant) on Public Television

On Tuesday, August 8, 2014, students from across the nation participating in a College of Engineering research program capped off the summer by taking the UA’s driverless car for a spin.

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The applications process is currently closed for 2015. We typically accept applications from mid-November until early April, for a June-August program. Check back during that time frame in order to apply for the 2016 program.

  • 2 March: Applications due, to guarantee full consideration
  • 9 March: Letters of Recommendation due, to guarantee full consideration
  • 10-17 March: Selection process
  • 1 April: Notification deadline
  • April-May: Preparation and background reading
  • June-August: 10-week program.

This REU site will support 10 students over the summer. Each student will receive:

  • Stipend of $5,000 over the summer
  • Housing, meal allowance, and $600 travel allowance to Tucson, AZ
  • Letters of recommendation from their faculty mentors

Students will participate as researchers for the summer, working side by side with graduate researchers and faculty who are experts in cognitive radio and autonomous ground vehicles. Want to know more about what the REU is like? Check out the videos made by CAT Vehicle 2013 participants.

Whether for business or pleasure, people come from all across the world to visit Tucson's blossoming green landscape. Found in the Sonoran Desert - dubbed "the greenest of deserts" - Tucson offers travelers clear skies, fresh air, stunning sunsets and rugged outdoor adventures.

CAT Vehicle 2014

Congratulations to Alice Kim from CAT Vehicle 2014, who received a Korean American Scholarship Foundation scholarship. Check out the KASF website for more.

Destinee Batson (Northeastern University)
Alice Kim (Rice University)

How could we design a system to let high-shool students safely program an autonomous car?

Torger Miller (College of Wooster)
Cody Ross (University of Houston)
Matheus Barbosa (Federal University of Itajubá (UNIFEI). Brazil)

If autonomous vehicles need data from the cloud, where should they drive to maintain high-bandwidth cloud connectivity?

Anthony Rodriguez (University of Arizona)
Amanda Pyryt (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Complex maneuvers need more than one kind of controller, so we must design a way to safely switch between them.

Carlos Asuncion (University of California, Berkeley)
Rachel Powers (University of Arizona)

Do you really need that $80,000 sensor to drive your autonomous car? How cheap can you go?


  • Torger Miller of the College of Wooster was a participant in the 2014 Cat Vehicle REU at the University of Arizona. In this article he describes his project, and the experience he had in Tucson.

  • If you were going to turn loose a high school student with a full-sized car that they could only control via computer, how safe would you feel? Alice Kim of Rice University tackled this problem as part of the CAT Vehicle Summer REU in 2014.

  • How can you design experiments that High School students (with no coding experience) can do on a full-sized car? That's what Destinee Batson of Northeastern University studied in Summer 2014 for the CAT Vehicle REU at the University of Arizona. 

  • Carlos Asuncion of UC Berkeley participated in the Cat Vehicle 2014 REU at the University of Arizona. Focusing on how autonomous vehicles might impact the future was a key part of his summer experience.

  • Rachel Powers of the University of Arizona participated in the Cat Vehicle 2014 REU at the University of Arizona. In this video she describes her project, and how the cost of the sensors on top of these vehicles can be reduced. She was a rising senior in Electrical and Computer Engineering.