DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Cars that can stop on a dime automatically and park themselves are on display the week of July 30 – August 3 at Sinclair Community College.

“A lot of what we’re doing is stuff that has been in development for years and years,” said Alexander Richards, an associate professor at University of Central Missouri. “It’s just waited for technology to kind of catch up.”

Justin Morgan, the chair of Sinclair’s automotive technology program, said Sinclair Community College was a natural fit for the conference because they have one of the oldest automotive programs in the country and have a rooted past in automotive technologies.

But the cars there this weekend are not for joy rides.

About 40 colleges have staff on campus training on the cars, gathering this background knowledge on the systems and services to take that back to their schools and add to the curriculum.

General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and more partnered with Sinclair to provide examples of their autonomous cars for the summer conference.

“A lot of our graduates at a baccalaureate level go on to work for manufacturers so they’re working on future technology,” said Richards.

Both Richards and Morgan said this technology is still advancing, and they understand there is concern about the autonomous vehicles.

However, they say the services are intended to prevent automotive accidents.

“There’s still going to be accidents I believe in the future,” said Morgan. “But the idea is for distracted drivers, to prevent those scenarios. So with the collision mitigation system, lane keep assist, whenever you’re distracted, these systems are there for your security.”

This was part of a $750 thousand grant from National Science Foundation to do three summer training programs. 

The others will be in 2019 and 2020.