University of Oulu acquires self-driving car for research purposes

University of Oulu acquires self-driving car for research purposes

A Toyota self-driving car has been acquired for the University of Oulu’s Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering as a part of the 6G Flagship research programme. The car will be widely used as a means of research.

Professor of Software Engineering Markku Oivo emphasises that it is advisable to see cars as software environments these days. One car can have up to 200 software licences and 200 million lines of code. The research will address how large and extensive software packages can be built efficiently and in a decentralised manner. The key is that everything must be safe, functional and sustainable. The share of open source will increase.

-In our business collaboration projects, we have already developed an open source application platform that enables the development and sharing of car software as cloud services. Now that we have our own research instrument, we will be able to test things more concretely.

 

The car is needed for many purposes at the university. It is a piece of research equipment in which different researchers can install their own instruments.

-In fact, all twelve of our research units can take advantage of the car from their own point of view. For many units, the car is a solution allowing them to test things in a real environment. It will also be important to connect the car to the 5G test network administered by the university, which can also be used to explore communication and cooperation between cars, says Dean Jukka Riekki of the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

 

There are various examples. In the future, the surfaces of cars will be made of solar cells, thus increasing the range of electric and hybrid cars. A solar cell collects energy, but it can also be used as a means of data transmission. The faculty intends to carry out practical experiments with solar cells and explore how this can be done.  Usability and human-machine interaction will also be studied. What solutions can be used to influence, for example, driving behaviour? What are the ethical, usability and acceptability aspects of autonomous systems? The acquisition of the car further supports opportunities for cooperation in this field. The aim is to create a collaborative and research space in which car manufacturers, researchers and companies in the industry can work together. Further details on the research opportunities and use of the car will be provided later.

Last updated: 12.6.2020