AI Test Vehicle for NIST | Dataspeed
Project Overview

We recently spoke with Zeid Kootbally, a computer scientist at NIST who leads the Automated Vehicle Program and co-leads the Agility Performance of Robotic Systems (APRS) Project. Zeid plays a vital role in NIST’s latest project, a Ford Fusion with cutting-edge autonomous capable technology. 

NIST’s project vehicle was outfitted with Dataspeed’s Drive-by-Wire (DBW) kit, intelligent Power Distribution System (iPDS), Kinetic Intermediate Autonomy Software, and a sensor suite. The sensor suite included an Ouster OS1-32 lidar secured with our Magnetic Lidar Mount, a Novatel dual antenna GNSS/INSS, and a Continental long range radar. The vehicle’s trunk held a Nuvo computing system and a shore power system.

In our conversation, we delve deeper into NIST’s decision to collaborate with Dataspeed and explore the procurement process.

Our team discovered Dataspeed through an online search and through discussions with other researchers in the autonomous vehicles realm.

The NIST campus has limited space availability, so we wanted to make sure we had a vehicle that could fit into one of NIST’s storage areas. The Ford Fusion suited this requirement.

It was a bit of a long process, as we needed more detailed, technical information relating to the project. We had a video call with Heidi, Director of Sales & Marketing, and other employees at Dataspeed – who were very helpful. During this conversation, our intentions were to understand if substitutions and additions were possible to better meet our application goals. Heidi was very responsive, and it was a pleasure working with her.

The work we are doing requires a sensor suite to record data and to follow waypoint inputs. The Kinetic Intermediate package was best suited for this need since it includes path following capabilities.

We are not planning to develop new technologies with this vehicle. That is, we are not planning to develop any algorithm for path planning or navigation. We intend to use existing algorithms, as our focus is on testing and evaluating the performance of the vehicle in specific aspects: AI, perception, cybersecurity, and communications. Our end goal is to provide measurement methods and metrics to study the interactions of these four aspects.

Having the latest version of ROS2 installed on the vehicle’s computer was very important to us. Responsive communication from Dataspeed was also very important to be able to move things along quickly.

We are currently working on the hazard review. While the hazard review is being performed, we are reviewing the documentation for the vehicle to understand how to integrate Autoware with the vehicle’s installed Drive-by-Wire kit.

Just wanted to thank the Dataspeed team for the help provided!

To request a quote for Drive-by-Wire kits, autonomous vehicle integrations, or software packages, click here.


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AI Test Vehicle for NIST

Project Overview   Primary objective: The project goal for National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) is to provide measurement methods and metrics to study the interaction

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