Prateek Mittal

Prof. Prateek Mittal’s SmartCore device brings programmability and connectivity to existing cars to transform them into internet-connected smart vehicles. ( photo)

An Indian American professor at Princeton, Prateek Mittal, was among six individuals chosen by Princeton University’s IP Accelerator Fund for his research-stage technology.

The six technologies have the promise of benefitting society and have been selected to receive funding through Princeton University’s Intellectual Property Accelerator Fund, the university said in a news release.

“This year’s innovations include an exciting and diverse selection of technologies, and provide a snapshot into the breadth of research going on at Princeton,” John Ritter, director of Technology Licensing at Princeton, said in a statement.

“These grants makes it far more likely that these projects will receive additional downstream development funding, thus dramatically increasing the probability that a particular technology will make it to the marketplace and benefit society,” he said.

The selected technologies range from ones aimed at treating human disease to ones that improve our access to information, cool buildings using less energy, and improve the safety and efficiency of transportation systems.

Mittal, an assistant professor of electrical engineering, along with Mung Chiang, a visiting research scholar in electrical engineering, developed a plug-in device that adds internet-connectivity to existing vehicles.

New cars come with numerous technology-enabled safety enhancements, from collision-avoidance to steering assistance. Now, a device developed by Mittal in collaboration with Chiang and their teams promises to provide such enhancements for vehicles that are already on the roads through a plug-in device known as SmartCore, the university news release said.

The device brings programmability and connectivity to existing cars to transform them into internet-connected smart vehicles, while protecting security and privacy, it said.

According to the researchers, SmartCore will improve the driving experience, user safety and in-car communications by extending the benefits of internet connectivity to all vehicles, the report added.

The accelerator fund provides resources targeted at moving the research forward to the point where the innovations are ready for development by entities outside the university, such as startup companies, investors or government agencies.

Each year, projects are selected by a committee that includes peer researchers as well as representatives from the venture capital community. Each project will receive up to $100,000 to be spent on additional proof-of-concept research or developing working prototypes, according to the university.

The other technologies included a high-density Wi-Fi network capable of enhancing internet access in urban areas and along travel corridors; a machine learning algorithm that matches key aspects of how the brain works; a new method for identifying treatments against hepatitis B and E viruses; a microbiome-based strategy for treating inflammatory bowel diseases; and an air-dehumidification system that uses 75 percent less energy than current systems.

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