Cornell Engineering has launched the Veho Institute for vehicle intelligence, formally partnering Cornell with Italian universities and luxury automakers as well as establishing a new academic center at Cornell Tech.
The launch celebration was held Nov. 25 at Cornell Tech in New York City.
Partners include Cornell Engineering, Cornell Tech and the Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna (MUNER) from the University of Bologna, Italy.
The institute’s central goal is advancing automotive engineering and data science, with an emphasis on societal impacts, through collaboration between students, faculty and auto industry partners. Subject areas include advanced automotive engineering; virtual reality and computer graphics; autonomous driving; assisted mobility; and transportation and civil infrastructures.
The institute is co-led by Silvia Ferrari, the John Brancaccio Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the Sibley School; Francesco Ubertini, chancellor of the University of Bologna; and Enrico Sangiorgi, vice chancellor for teaching and education at the University of Bologna.
“My hope is that this new institute will help us transport the world of high-performance automobiles into the future, not simply with autonomous cars but also using all of the new areas of artificial intelligence, data science and the science of autonomy,” said Ferrari, whose research includes the development of an autonomous driving model for Ferrari vehicles.
The gathering also celebrated the opening of the Italian Academic Center, in the Tata Innovation Center at Cornell Tech. The new center will give the Veho Institute and Cornell’s Italian partners a presence on the Cornell Tech campus, and will provide Cornell students and faculty with opportunities for joint research projects and exchange programs with companies including Ducati, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.
“Bringing in industry partners is really important to ensure the work we do has intellectual robustness and to ensure that the outcomes of our work can be translated to the world at scale,” said David Erickson, the S.C. Thomas Sze Director of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
The Veho Institute’s first initiatives will include projects conducted by master’s and Ph.D. students, as well as internships and exploratory projects for Cornell students who are interested in partnering with automakers. The institute plans to use its website as a forum for companies to post project opportunities for financial support, for which faculty at Cornell and Cornell Tech can compete. Faculty will also have the opportunity to teach courses at MUNER.
The institute was announced in 2018 with a memorandum of agreement. With the formal launch, each partner university made an initial investment of $1 million to begin programming.
The Veho Institute has already begun joint entrepreneurship activities, including workshops, startup days and incubator programs, with the goal of eventually developing spin-off companies. Rosa Grimaldi, professor and special delegate for entrepreneurship at the University of Bologna, is heading these initiatives.
Erin Philipson is a communications specialist for the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.