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[VIRTUAL] Spring 2020 GRASP Seminar Series: John Leonard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ” Challenges and Opportunities in Automated Driving”

April 24, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


This talk will describe some of the challenges and opportunities in autonomy research today, with a focus on trends and lessons in self-driving research.  We will discuss some of the major challenges and research opportunities in self-driving, including building and maintaining high-resolution maps, interacting with humans both inside and outside of vehicles, dealing with adverse weather, and achieving sufficiently high detection with low probabilities of false alarms in challenging settings.  We will review the different approaches to automated driving, including SAE Level 2 and SAE Level 4 systems, as well as the Toyota Guardian approach, which flips the conventional mindset from having the human guard the AI (as in SAE Level 2 systems). to instead using AI to guard the human driver.  We will discuss research opportunities in mapping, localization, perception, prediction, and planning and control to realize improved safety through advanced automation in the future.


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Dr. John J. Leonard is Samuel C. Collins Professor in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering and a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His research addresses the problems of navigation and mapping for autonomous mobile robots and underwater vehicles. He holds the degrees of B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering and Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1987) and D.Phil. in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford (1994). Since 2016, Professor Leonard has also worked at Toyota Research Institute (TRI), where he is currently a Technical Advisor. At TRI, Dr. Leonard is helping to lead an effort to create the Toyota Guardian system for increasing the safety of human driving by exploiting advanced perception and navigation capabilities developed by the mobile robotics research community.


April 24, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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