News & Stories

The Revs Institute at Naples Hosts Stanford University to Study the Automobile

January 5, 2012 Research, Stanford


New Revs Program at Stanford Fostering Academic Focus on Automobile

A group of Stanford University students led by Professor J. Christian Gerdes are coming from California to work with The Revs Institute of Automotive Research at the Collier Collection in Naples this week, to further the academic study of the automobile. Conducting primary research on historic automobiles housed at the Collier Collection, and tapping into the vast array of information available at the private research library, the visiting graduate students are part of a new program at Stanford University, inspired by the vision of Miles Collier.

The Revs Program at Stanford creates a unique opportunity to study the automobile from a variety of disciplines in diverse fields – bridging the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, design, science and engineering. Fostering a wide range of academic focus on the automobile, The Revs Program at Stanford provides teaching and learning opportunities that would not otherwise be available, such as this and future trips to the Revs Institute for Automotive Research at the Collier Collection in Naples, FL. The Revs Institute for Automotive Research is a not for profit-501c3 private operating foundation.

“Our interaction with the Revs Institute has had a profound impact on our research program and our students. The opportunity to gather new data from historically important automobiles, combined with the ability to scour the archives to uncover existing data has already transformed academic research,” Professor Chris Gerdes, Associate Mechanical Engineering Professor said.

This week, students will be conducting primary research on two historic 1966 FordGT 40 race cars, from The Collier Collection, fitting them with data sensors and race car telemetry technology to measure not only the car’s performance – but the driver’s as well. In addition to addressing key issues confronting the future of automobiles in society, the Revs Program at Stanford also seeks to create a highly accessible knowledge repository that captures information with exacting attention to detail and thorough scientific documentation

“Instrumenting human race car drivers and their vehicles through the Revs Program allows us to not only document the performance of historic vehicles but also to capture as much as we can about the experience of driving. These projects raise interesting questions of the ideal balance of human and machine in driving,” Professor Gerdes explained.

The visit will also include a presentation by Professor Gerdes on the work the program has been undertaking during its first ten months, to nearly 100 guests, volunteers and associates of The Revs Institute. Topics will include the results of track testing performance runs, instrumentation of race car drivers, and a project to develop a robotic racecar that can find the fastest way around a paved or dirt track.

“We are thrilled to host Stanford at our facility here in Naples, and to offer guests the opportunity to hear first-hand about this exciting research that we are involved with,” Miles Collier, program founder said.

“While the Engineering department is here this week, we will be welcoming faculty and students from the arts, humanities, communications and economics, and other disciplines on a regular basis as part of this new program.”

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