NYIT Student Spends Summer at the Controls of a Driverless Car

Every Fall, students return to class with stories to tell about what they did over summer break. But how many can say they spent the summer at the controls of a driverless car? New York Institute of Technology student Audrey Knowlton can.

Thanks to a University of Arizona College of Engineering 10-week summer research program focused on driverless car technology, Knowlton and 11 other college students helped to advance the UA CAT vehicle, or cognitive and autonomous test vehicle. Knowlton worked to improve vehicle-to-vehicle communications while reducing power consumption of communications systems.

The NSF program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, or REU, provides opportunities for undergraduates to work with faculty mentors and graduate students on exciting research projects at universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

“Before participating in this REU, I had only a rough understanding of how research was done and was not even sure if I was going to grad school,” she said. “Now that I have a full grasp on literature reviews, team collaboration and problem solving in an academic environment, I am confident I will continue studying in graduate school.” University of Arizona electrical and computer engineering professor Jonathan Sprinkle, an NSF CAREER Award winner who led the 2015 University of Arizona REU program, said the program was a good way to introduce students to research and graduate school.

For more on the UA CAT vehicle program, visit http://catvehicle.arizona.edu/, and to learn about the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, visit http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu