Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI expands international collaboration on autonomous vehicle technology

April 1, 2008 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) is joining forces with the Association pour la Recherche et le Developpement des Methodes et Processus Industriels (ARMINES) of France to enhance the state of the art in the field of road automation. The collaboration will address sensors, vehicle controls, robotics and pathway generation. This collaboration follows an agreement between SwRI and the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) of France signed last year.

SwRI, one of the United States' oldest and largest nonprofit applied research and development organizations, signed a collaboration agreement with ARMINES, specifically the CAOR (Robotics Lab), a common research center of ARMINES and Mines Paris - ParisTech, February 25, 2008. This industry-oriented research organization has been working with INRIA since 2005 on the LaRA Project "La Route Automatisee" to conduct joint research and development activities for intelligent transport systems. The SwRI-ARMINES collaboration will conduct joint research and exchange intellectual property to foster rapid technology and system advancements in vehicle autonomy and road automation.

"We believe that the vehicle autonomy field is entering a rapid growth phase, as evidenced by recent advances associated with defense science programs such as the DARPA Urban Challenge and the European Commission PReVENT programs, as well as automotive industry advances in active safety systems," said Dr. Steven W. Dellenback, director of SwRI's Intelligent Transportation Systems Department.

In 2006, SwRI established a $5 million internal research and development program, called the Southwest Safe Transport Initiative, to improve safety in urban traffic environments. SSTI is charged with developing new sensor, computing and mobile technologies to augment vehicle platforms and provide autonomous vehicle capabilities. Through SSTI, the Institute is fusing the latest technology from multiple industries to meet the challenges associated with autonomous control of cars, trucks and tractors.

SwRI is applying its multidisciplinary technical expertise to create a full-scale autonomous ground vehicle platform for advanced engineering applications development. The SSTI program draws on SwRI's broad technical expertise in areas including unmanned aerial systems, intelligent transportation and vehicle systems, cooperative vehicle systems, cognitive and multi-agent systems, engineering dynamics, advanced vehicle research, hardware and software-in-the-loop simulation, machine vision, large-scale multi-function robotics and safety and reliability systems.

Created in 1967 at the initiative of Mines Paris-ParisTech, ARMINES is a contract research association focusing on industry-oriented research. With 500 employees working in 50 laboratories on 37 million Euros worth of industrial research annually, ARMINES is affiliated with Mines Paris-ParisTech under the control of the Ministry of the Economy. ARMINES helps orient educational research toward industrial problems. Mines Paris-ParisTech is a top level institution in the French educational system.

For more information about SwRI, see; for more information about the Institute's intelligent transportation program, see For more information about ARMINES, see; for more information about Mines Paris-ParisTech, see; for more information about INRIA, see; for more information about LaRA, see

For more information contact Deb Schmid at (210) 522-2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.