Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Automated Driving Systems & UGVs

Go to Automated Driving Systems & UGVs


The future of mobility involves algorithms that fuse different sensing technologies  to enable intelligent vehicles to become more and more automated on roads and highways. SwRI is a leading provider of algorithms and component technologies for automated driving for both commercial (automotive, agriculture, construction, mining, and industrial applications) and military vehicles.

Research & Development Focus

We develop automation solutions for numerous industries, helping clients with R&D, prototyping of technological solutions for use in research and end production systems. We offer many technical solutions, including the following:

  • Perception - We develop advanced systems and algorithms that help automated vehicles understand various terrain, scenarios, and dynamic objects. Our expertise includes: machine learning algorithms for environment classification and object detection.
  • Localization – In addition to proprioceptive sensor fusion algorithms,  SwRI’s Ranger system uses a ground-facing camera and surface mapping technologies to provide precise position and orientation measurements in areas where GPS does not work. Used in passenger vehicles, 18-wheeler tractors, and golf carts, Ranger provides a unique “fingerprint” of road surfaces by matching thousands of distinguishing ground features, such as cracks and road markings, to corresponding features collected and stored in a map.  The Ranger technology enables platooning, precision trailer docking, and automation indoors or where GPS is denied or occluded.
  • Navigation - Using modular advanced perception and localization algorithms to understand the environment, SwRI has implemented numerous advanced vehicle control/path-planning algorithms.
  • Connected Vehicle – Using Vehicle to Vehicle and Vehicle to Infrastructure communications to extend a vehicle’s situational awareness, SwRI has developed numerous connected vehicle applications for the USDOT and commercial customers. [Learn more]

Testing & Evaluation Services

We provide testing and evaluation services, including a full-service test track to commercial and government clients and other research organizations:

  • Texas Automated Vehicle Proving Ground - SwRI is a key member of the Texas Automated Vehicle (AV) Proving Ground. We provide a full-service test track, closed campus roadways, and supporting research and testing services for automotive manufacturers, technology integrators, and policymakers to test and validate automated driving technologies. Through a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) designation, SwRI is collaborating with universities and municipalities to test connected and automated vehicle technologies.
  • Connected Vehicle Affiliated Testbed – USDOT established a Connected Vehicle Program to improve safety and mobility on the nation's roadways by supporting efforts to integrate standardized traffic management communication infrastructure with vehicle systems. 

Applications of Automated Driving

Our research, development and testing of automated driving technologies spans industry and government with expertise in the following:

  • Precision Following for platooning, convoy operations, and human-robot interaction
  • Low-speed Shuttle
  • Automated Yard Spotting
  • Unmanned Systems – Automation for defense and military clients [Learn more]
  • SwRI’s automated vehicle program celebrates 10-year anniversary [Learn more]

Standards Development

SwRI works with government agencies and major standards making bodies in the development of standards for a variety of industries and applications. Through our work with government and industry, we are supporting efforts to develop compliance testing, test tools, and common standards, including:

  • SwRI is developing the 5.9-GHz DSRC standards conformance test methods for the OmniAir DSRC certification program. OmniAir, a nonprofit public-private consortium, is under a five-year cooperative agreement with the USDOT to develop a certification program deemed essential to the forward progress of the program.
  • SwRI is developing standards conformance test methods focused on Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) P1609.2-4 DSRC standards.
  • SwRI is developing standards for the International Standards Organization (ISO) for Vehicle/Roadway Warning and Control Systems, namely the Forward Vehicle Collision Mitigation System (FVCMS) and Bicyclist Detection and Collision Mitigation System (BDCMS).