DARPA Urban Challenge champions General Motors and Carnegie Mellon University have announced they will continue their partnership with the establishment of a new Collaborative Research Lab (CRL) with the goal of developing new autonomous driving technologies.

The lab is a part of a five year, five million dollar agreement between the two organizations and will operate under GM's vast research and development umbrella. Located at Carnegie Mellon's main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the new CRL will utilize expertise from faculty at the School of Computer Science and College of Engineering.

"Research in this new lab will focus on creating and maturing the underlying technologies required to build the autonomous vehicle of the future," says Raj Rajkumar, Carnegie Mellon professor and co-director of the new CRL. "Autonomous vehicles will change the face of transportation by reducing deaths and injuries from automobile accidents and increasing the convenience and comfort of vehicles."

Prior to this lab, GM and Carnegie Mellon have partnered on multiple automotive projects. The two opened their first CRL lab in 2000 to create innovative smart car technologies to be implemented on future GM products. Last year the duo won the 55 mile DARPA Urban Challenge in southern California with their Chevrolet Tahoe, nicknamed "Boss", that traversed a variety of urban and suburban settings.

CMU has been tinkering with new automotive ideas and technologies since 1984, when it began work on its NavLab autonomous vehicle concepts.

Source: GM