USC Viterbi School of Engineering professor Petros Ioannou and the Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies have been selected to be partners in the recently launched “Audi Urban Intelligent Assist” project.
Ioannou will work with Audi, its Electronics Research Laboratory in Silicon Valley and three other academic institutions in a three-year effort to develop technologies aimed at easing the congestion, dangers and inconveniences that confront drivers in the world’s largest cities.
According to Ioannou, driving in an urban environment is becoming more challenging due to increasing congestion that affects mobility, safety and driver comfort. The increase in population and the expansion of large cities will make the situation worse in the years ahead, he asserted.
New technologies and ideas can be exploited and developed that would allow the vehicle to interact with the urban environment in a more efficient way by providing improved mobility, driving comfort and safety, he explained.
Ioannou said the aim is to take a connected car, driver assistance and infrastructure electronics to the next level by providing detailed information in order for motorists to have a better sense of the driving conditions surrounding them.
With this initiative, the universities, Electronics Research Laboratory and Audi want to cover the complete process of navigating in a megacity. The intention is to develop Audi models that will recognize individual drivers behind the wheel and monitor their driving characteristics, habits and preferences.
The goal is to use that knowledge to better assist the driver with respect to safety, information, comfort and mobility, as well as avoiding areas and situations perceived as dangerous.
The Audi vehicles envisioned in this new project would work with a city’s infrastructure to, for example, reserve parking spots near the driver’s desired destination. Or the vehicles might optimize the trip according to what is happening throughout the city. The vehicles would take care of the details that make driving in the city tedious and dangerous so that motorists could enjoy the drive and reach their destination safely and comfortably.
The other universities in the initiative are the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, San Diego, and the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan.
The USC group, to be led by Ioannou, has considerable expertise in dynamical systems, vehicles, traffic flow and control. It has completed a wide range of projects on topics such as cruise control design; steering and driving by wire control; modeling and identification of brake dynamics; adaptive cruise control; human factors associated with adaptive cruise control; reliability of forward-looking sensors; lane change safety analysis; traffic flow modeling; and control and vehicle routing.
Ioannou has received awards for his work in the area of intelligent vehicle and transportation technologies, in addition to other honors in control systems. He is the author or co-author of eight books and more than 200 papers in the area of control systems and transportation.