In a coup for Aussie education and research, Ford has teamed up with QUT to work on research around Autonomous Cars and how they understand the world around them.

Over two years almost $300,000 will be invested into the QUT project team led by Professor Michael Milford.

LISTEN: Professor Milford on the EFTM Podcast:

“QUT’s Centre for Robotics has extensive experience in the areas of robotic vision and navigation, and this research project is a terrific opportunity to bring that expertise to a project with a leader in the automotive industry,” Professor Milford said.

“We’ll dive deep into research developing the algorithms and artificial intelligence systems that could improve the capabilities of autonomous vehicles. In particular, we’ll be looking at the synergistic relationship between autonomous vehicles and the world around them.

“If vehicles are able to understand the environment they are in such as in an urban environment, the vehicle can better understand its surroundings such as a pedestrian crossing. We can take that understanding of what is in the environment to then help the vehicle better understand where they are located in it.”

Richard Taube, Manager of University Programs at Ford Australia, said the partnership highlights the vital role Australian universities play in working with industry to innovate and advance technology. “Ford Motor Company collaborates strategically with top Australian universities, and this collaboration with QUT on AV subsystems is confirmation that Australian universities are world-class in many areas and provide value to Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering function,” he said.

Despite what you might read about Autonomous Cars and leave aside the fan boys on the internet for some brands, the fact is Autonomous Cars are a long, long way off – it has to be done with safety in mind and this work at QUT will play a big role in that.