Carnegie Mellon University and Argo AI have a five-year, $15 million sponsored research partnership under which the self-driving technology company will fund research into advanced perception and next-generation decision-making algorithms for autonomous vehicles.

Argo AI and Carnegie Mellon will establish the Carnegie Mellon University Argo AI Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research, which will pursue advanced research projects to help overcome hurdles to enabling self-driving vehicles to operate in a wide variety of real-world conditions, such as winter weather or construction zones.

Carnegie Mellon has been developing autonomous driving technology for more than 30 years, and the university’s expertise and graduates have attracted a number of self-driving car companies to Pittsburgh. Argo AI was founded in 2016 by a team of CMU alumni and experts from across the industry.

In addition to Argo AI, CMU performs related research supported by General Motors, Uber and other transportation companies.

Deva Ramanan, an associate professor in the Robotics Institute who also serves as machine learning lead at Argo AI, will be the center’s principal investigator. The center’s research will involve faculty members and students from across CMU. The center will give students access to the fleet-scale data sets, vehicles and large-scale infrastructure that are crucial for advancing self-driving technologies and that otherwise would be difficult to obtain.

The center’s research will address a number of technical topics, including smart sensor fusion, 3D scene understanding, urban scene simulation, map-based perception, imitation and reinforcement learning, behavioral prediction and robust validation of software. Research findings will be reported in open scientific literature for use by the entire field.

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