Centre for Automated Road Transportation Safety @ Fort Monmouth is launched

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways July 21, 2015 12:07

Centre for Automated Road Transportation Safety @ Fort Monmouth is launched


After more than three (3) years of planning and several major meetings the substantive launch of the Centre for Automated Road Transportation Safety @ Fort Monmouth (CARTS@FM) occurred this week with the creation of the governing non-profit (501(c) (6)) New Jersey Corporation. The mission of this Centre is to substantially improve safety on our existing conventional roadway infrastructure through the use of inexpensive automated collision avoidance systems installed on individual vehicles operating harmoniously with conventional vehicles throughout most, if not all, existing roadways.   The scope of CARTS’s mission is across all modes that utilize the nation’s conventional road system: trucks, buses and cars.

The Governing Board of Trustees, led by Dr. Alain L. Kornhauser, Professor of Financial Engineering and Operations Research at Princeton and Director of the Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering program (PAVE), will focus on strategies and programs to optimize the conversion part of the 1,100 acre former Army Base into a world class facility for the research, development, certification, and commercialization of autonomous collision avoidance technology for autos, buses, and trucks.

Dr. Kornhauser said: “Our research shows that the expected future value of the savings associated with collision avoidance will far outweigh the cost of the technology, making the case for autonomous driving technology a long term economic no-brainer.  In terms of the social cost of crash avoidance, the benefits are obviously immeasurable.”

“However, while some aspects of autonomous driving are already in market – Electronic Stability Control, for example, which effectively takes over when I make a potentially fatal driving error – a tremendous amount of work lies ahead to get the required technologies from the lab to the road. Today we’ve created through CARTS@FM the core components – the perfect facility, and the key stakeholders – focused to develop a world class environment to address these challenges.”

The governing board has strong representation of the insurance industry (Jerry Speers of Deputy Director of Washington State Transportation Insurance Pool and Mike Scrudato, SVP at Munich Re, USA), transit (Jerome Lutin retired senior executive, NJ Transit), the motor carrier industry (Jason Dameo, President, Dameo Trucking and President NJ Motor Truck Assoc.), car dealers (Shau-wai Lam, Emeritus CEO, DCH Auto Group), innovative technology companies (Eva Lerner-Lam, CEO Soterea; Ben Englander, SVP, Roscoe and Sabbir Rangwala, CEO Princeton Lightwave), the public sector (Stephen Dilts, former NJ DoT Commissioner), University research (Camile Kamga, Head, UTRC2 Research Centre; Barbara Reagor, Sr. Researcher, Monmouth U. and Stan Young, Sr. Researcher, U. of Maryland) and the investment community (Andrew Peloso, Serial Entrepreneur and Jeff Drazan, Managing Partner, Bertram Capital). Tom Gagliano, former minority leader of the NJ State Senate and the initial visionary for the re-purposing of Fort Monmouth to the fundamental improvement of safety in road transportation through the use of automated technologies serves as honorary trustee.

The achievement of the Centre’s mission will be through the use of automated collision avoidance technologies that fundamentally go beyond crash mitigation, the principal conventional focus of highway safety, to crash avoidance. Moreover, it will focus on technologies that are vehicle-based requiring only that the neighbouring vehicles operate conventionally according to conventional rules-of-the-road and human driving behaviours. This objective will enable fleet operators to substantially improve the safety of the drivers that they employ and for labour leaders to substantially improve the work environment experienced by their member drivers.

It is expected that these objectives will lead to the development of inexpensive collision avoidance technologies that have an attractive RoI (Return on Investment) that will substantially accelerate the commercialization of these technologies and thus achieve the above mission.  Dr. Kornhauser said, “We will initially focus on specifications for new trucks and buses which have not received the same level of attention as autos.  In addition, the advancement of those aftermarket technologies to the used car fleets as well as improved sensors will also be pursued early on.

Initially, the Centre will occupy office and garage space in Fort Monmouth’s 25 acre McAfee Centre Complex and develop secured testing facilities in an 80 acre site east of Oceanport Avenue.

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways July 21, 2015 12:07