Supervisor : Dr. Reza Olfati-Saber
“Safety-Aware Intelligent Transportation Systems: Cooperative Autonomous Driving for Vehicular Networks,” PhD Thesis, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, June 2012.
Safety in transportation systems is a global concern with millions of road accidents happening worldwide every year. Despite sophisticated advancement in automotive design and accident severity reduction technologies, traffic fatalities continue to persist and the overwhelming majority has driver behavior as a causative factor. Human drivers can be susceptible to distraction, fatigue, substance abuse and inherent limitations in prediction and reaction capabilities. This explains the longstanding interest amongst the industry and government experts for the development of driver assistance systems resulting in semi-autonomous vehicles. But further benefits can be reaped if fully autonomous vehicles are used, provided that the overall safety is ensured. A network of cooperative, fully autonomous vehicles can not only decrease the accident rates, but also help in solving other traffic problems such as time and space inefficiency and waste of fuel due to congestion.
The objective here was to design a framework for cooperative autonomous vehicles that can safely share existing roads with human-driven vehicles, pedestrians and other users of the roadway. Our design approach was inspired by the flocking behavior of birds. One of the primary goals of a driver is collision avoidance and that happens to be a byproduct of the flocking behavior. The project enabled cyber-physical vehicles to achieve all basic driving tasks such as lane-driving, braking and turning using distributed algorithms. We also modeled pedestrian and human driver behaviors so that the self-driving vehicles can take their surrounding human behavioral factors into account. The hybrid control algorithms create a network of autonomous vehicles with nonlinear switching dynamics. Both experimental and analytical results were provided that illustrate the stability, effectiveness, and safety-awareness of our cooperative autonomous driving algorithms.
Supervisor: Prof. Farshad Khorrami
“Multi-agent autonomous systems control and coordination in bounded space”, BS/MS Thesis, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Brooklyn, NY, 2009