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Florida Polytechnic Director Brings Prestige to University, Polk County

August 8, 2019 News, Success Stories, Talent Pipeline

Florida Polytechnic University’s dominance on the world autonomous vehicle stage continues to grow, a status that enhances all of Polk County.

Dr. Rahul Razdan, senior director of special projects at Florida Poly and head of the university’s Advanced Mobility Institute (where AV technology is tested and validated), has been appointed to lead a new project for the Society of Automotive Engineers. In that role, Razdan will be the main editor for EDGE Research Reports, which will focus on testing and validation of autonomous vehicles.

“It is an honor because SAE has confidence that I can help frame the important issues in test and verification for the entire automotive industry,” Razdan says.

“For Florida Poly, and more specifically AMI, it provides international visibility to the institute/university.”

The series aims to explore “unsettling aspects of autonomous vehicles and provide a methodical approach to the way people think about and work with this fast-shifting technology,” according to a Florida Poly release. Through it, Razdan and others will develop and share research on issues affecting the mobility engineering industry around the world.

Razdan says “unsettling” refers to questions without answers at this time, including areas of focus for the reports. AMI is already heavily invested in the three segments Razdan’s reports will detail:

  • Testing and verification.
  • Environmental factors, such as wind and wet roads, and how they affect AV operations.
  • How this new technology will affect everything from insurance policies to accident investigations, among many others.

Razdan says autonomous vehicles and the technology they use will be upsetting the balance in the automotive industry that’s existed for a century.

“Soon, autonomous vehicles will change this equilibrium in unexpected ways in fields ranging from transportation to finance. In these research reports we’ll explore the changes this technology will create in multiple areas, including safety, where there are so many unanswered questions.”

That’s one reason why safety is number one on the list of areas to study.

“The impact of AV to the automotive industry is complex,” Razdan says. “I am hopeful that the SAE Edge Reports will help frame the important issues such that we can solve them.”

Dr. Randy K. Avent, president of Florida Poly, praises Razdan for his leadership in the AV field.

“Dr. Razdan is an industry veteran who brings a unique perspective and understanding of autonomous vehicle technology and how it will transform every aspect of our society in the not-so-distant future,” he says.

“As the automotive industry shifts to a more electronic design focus, Dr. Razdan’s ample experience in the electronics field and systems design makes him the perfect person to lead the university’s Advanced Mobility Institute, as well as these new research reports for the SAE International.”

Research completed at Florida Poly and the AMI will be tested and validated at SunTrax, which just opened Phase 1 of its facility along the Polk Parkway in Auburndale.

For additional information about this topic or how to become a partner with the Central Florida Development Council, please contact Lindsay Zimmerman at


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