Our research strives to reduce the 94% of crashes that result from human recognition, decision or performance error by designing automated vehicles or driver assistance systems that perform these tasks better than the best human drivers. Several interconnected themes help guide the research questions we ask.
Current Research Themes
Vehicle Dynamics and Control At The Limits of Handling
Self-driving cars have the potential to dramatically reduce crashes by handling critical scenarios that human drivers find challenging or lack the ability to navigate. To realize this potential, however, cars must be explicitly designed to make full use of the available friction between the tire and the road when designing and executing maneuvers. A great inspiration comes from human race car drivers, who routinely use all of the friction between the tire and the road to post the best lap time. We want to harness the same capability for vehicle safety, ultimately enabling the car to take an...more
Motion Planning for Automated Vehicles
As autonomous vehicles drive in more challenging environments, it is important that they plan and follow paths that are safe and feasible considering the vehicle's dynamics. We are incorporating knowledge of vehicle handling, road conditions and sensor limitations into the motion planning and control problem. For example, if the vehicle is traveling on a snowy road, we want to be able to plan trajectories that accurately model the limited amount of force between the tires and the road. Or, if a vehicle is traveling behind a large truck which blocks the vehicle's sensors from detecting the pres... more