VEMI Lab Earns Federal Prize, Invited to White House for Self-Driving Car Research

The VEMI Lab’s pursuit of an inclusive smartphone software platform for self-driving cars earned them a $300,000 prize and an invitation to the White House.

The lab won the prize in phase two of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inclusive Design Challenge with its Autonomous Vehicle Assistant (AVA) smartphone technology. VEMI leads the group designing the platform and includes collaboration from Northeastern University and Colby College. The team consisted of VEMI staff, students and external partners, specifically Grant Beals, Paul Fink, Aubree Nygaard, and Raymond Perry from VEMI; Xue (Shelley) Lin, Pu Zhao and Yushu Wu from Northeastern University; and Stacy Doore and Matthew Maring from Colby College. 

The prizes in the Inclusive Design Challenge were announced July 26 in celebration of the DOT’s 32nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA. VEMI director Richard Corey and chief research scientist Nicholas Giudice participated in a ceremony at the department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., followed by a policy session hosted by the Office of Public Engagement and Office of Science and Technology Policy on July 27 at the White House. 

Read more about the VEMI Lab and the AVA technology here.