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Pruv Mobility Ecosystem agreement with Purdue Research Foundation leads to autonomous vehicle research and testing facility

WARRENDALE, Pa., Sept. 19, 2017 - An agreement between Pruv Mobility Ecosystem and Purdue Research Foundation, a private, nonprofit entity that serves Purdue University, has led to plans for a state-of-the-art research facility, test track and proving grounds for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and technologies. The facility would cover up to 517 acres adjacent to Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette.

The centerpiece of the agreement, which will be developed and financed by PrÅ«v, is to create a “Smart City” that provides a detailed simulation of a not-too-distant future in which driverless vehicles interact with and are connected to the environments where they will operate.

Currently, the transportation-testing market for self-driving vehicles is vastly underserved, based on a recent study by Deloitte Consulting. There’s a need for more testing facilities, labs, proving grounds, test tracks and test-bed facilities with access for everyone in the industry. Many large OEMs are reticent to share their facilities with other transportation and mobility companies needing to test their innovations and technologies.

“Autonomous mobility is on track to touch everyone’s life.” says John Fairbanks, President and CEO of PrÅ«v. “Our vision is to create a facility where the technologies from different industries and companies will merge. We want to open our doors and be global so organizations from anywhere in the world can use our facility. It’s not just about cars and trucks. It’s about pedestrians, bicyclists, smart street signs and smart traffic signals. It’s about parking lots and loading docks. It’s about cutting grass and plowing fields. It’s even about smart pavement and reflective paint. There are so many companies out there that want to get connected to an autonomous mobility test-bed. We strive to fill that underserved market.”

Pruv Mobility Ecosystem, based in Columbus, Ind., has formed an alliance with Purdue Research Foundation to create a facility with these major components:

1.            Integrated technology system, which will be a virtual data dome to capture and analyze data, develop the next generation of computing and test information and technology platforms to future-proof cyber-security of connected and autonomous vehicles and infrastructure.

2.            Test track, commercial vehicle proving grounds and an urban-inspired CAV “Smart City.” This component will require hundreds of acres to validate the ways in which autonomous vehicles respond to other vehicles as well as surrounding infrastructure and other dynamics (e.g., pedestrians, construction zones, etc.).

3.            Functional safety excellence focus, assuring the creation of CAV and technology systems that vastly improve safety, keeping people out of harm’s way by annually reducing human-created, vehicle-related injuries and deaths.

4.            Sustainable-site technology, a one-of-a-kind outdoor laboratory to provide multi-disciplinary, hands-on research and development of sustainable site and building systems which develops ways to reduce waste and create more efficient design and maintenance methods related to mobility infrastructure construction.

5.            Promotion of emerging propulsion technologies, which will draw companies to future-proof their work with electric, hybrid, fuel cell, diesel, natural gas and other alternative fuels and technologies.

The state-of-the-art testing facility will be privately managed. It will be open to organizations wanting to test technology, and all data and information will be secure and confidential and systems will be seamlessly integrated.

There are numerous global challenges that face this emerging industry. To address those challenges, PrÅ«v will also collaborate with Purdue University’s Discovery Park to stand-up a “think tank” to advance the discussion on transportation planning, ethics, policy, legal, safety and insurance challenges that the emerging CAV industry faces. Discovery Park is a complex of facilities on 40 acres at the Purdue campus that houses collaborative research environments to tackle interdisciplinary projects.

The Deloitte Consulting feasibility study, completed in June 2017, validates the Prūv Mobility Ecosystem master development plan for an autonomous vehicle validation facility, five-mile commercial vehicle test track and proving grounds to be built in Indiana.

“Indiana is an ideal place for a CAV proving ground. It’s one of the largest auto-manufacturing states, second only to neighboring Michigan. The Hoosier state also has harsh winters and hot summers, providing the opportunity for a variety of driving conditions created by changing weather.” says Fairbanks.

Dan Hasler, Chief Entrepreneurial Officer of Purdue Research Foundation comments, “Purdue Research Foundation is excited to work with PrÅ«v Mobility Ecosystem. The proximity of the planned state-of-the-art autonomous vehicle validation facility to the Purdue campus and Discovery Park with the many related and supportive technologies being developed there makes this a game-changer for autonomous vehicle research and development.”

 “At Purdue’s Discovery Park, we are launching a new initiative focused on research development and evaluation for the connected autonomous vehicle future. With access to testing and validation facilities we will be able to look back with confidence at the role that Purdue University played in enabling the safety and success of the transformation that autonomy represents,” said Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, Chief Scientist and Executive Director of Discovery Park at Purdue University.

The Pruv Mobility Ecosystem vision, enhanced by its affiliation with Purdue, will grow beyond the initial focus on CAVs. “We are also developing off-highway and aerospace divisions,” says Fairbanks. “Our goal is to forge alliances and partnerships to enhance the development of autonomous mobility, making life better for everyone.”

About Pruv Mobility Ecosystem
Pruv Mobility Ecosystem is a privately held corporation that develops smart infrastructure test-beds for research, development and validation of connected, autonomous and advanced propulsion technologies, vehicles and associated components. PrÅ«v development includes a commercial vehicle test track and proving grounds, a systemwide data dome and an autonomous vehicle validation facility – all within an urban-inspired “Smart City.” Pruv Mobility Ecosystem is an innovation hub to future-proof connected and autonomous technologies.

Media Contact – Bob Lauder – blauder@doeanderson.com – (502) 815-3367

About Purdue Research Foundation
The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

Media Contact: Dan Hasler – djhasler@prf.org

About Discovery Park
Discovery Park is a place where Purdue researchers move beyond traditional boundaries, collaborating across disciplines and with policymakers and business leaders to create solutions for a better world. Grand challenges of global health, global conflict and security, and those that lie at the nexus of sustainable energy, world food supply, water and the environment are the focus of researchers in Discovery Park. The translation of discovery to impact is integrated into the fabric of Discovery Park through entrepreneurship programs and partnerships.

Media Contact – Tomas Diaz de la Rubia – tddlr@purdue.edu