Bruce Podwal Seminar Series
Thoughts about Automated Vehicles
Alain L. Kornhauser
Professor, Department of Operations Research & Financial Engineering
Director, Transportation Program
12 – 1 pm, Thursday, February 14, 2019
Civil Engineering Department, Room 105, Steinman Hall
Light Lunch will be served
Absract: I've been "thinking" about automated mobility for cities since at least 1971. It began with "Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)" that was going to use Space-age Technology to Save Our Cities from the Wrath of The Automobile. This evolved to also investigating "Automated Highway Systems" (AHS) in the 80s and 90s. However, both suffered from the fundamental chicken-egg problem of The automated vehicles need its own infrastructure to be relevant so without the infrastructure no one will invest sufficiently to make automated vehicles AND no one will invest in the infrastructure without there being automated vehicles to use that infrastructure. However, along came DARPA, first in 2004 and held a competition to build automated vehicles that didn't need a separate new infrastructure. That led to the realization that it may be possible to put enough intelligence in a single vehicle and have it work just fine sharing our existing infrastructure with existing users. That realization changed everything. This talk will focus on where we are in putting sufficient intelligence in vehicles to drive safely among all of the rest of us and where all of this might be going.
Biography: Born in France, Dr. Kornhauser immigrated to western Pennsylvania with his parents at the age of 7. He studied Aerospace Engineering at Penn State where he obtained a BS and MS. Then he transferred to Princeton’s Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences Department and earned a PhD there. Dr. Kornhauser joined the Aerospace Engineering faculty at the U of Minnesota as an assistant professor in January 1971, and he was recruited back to Princeton in the fall of 1972. At Princeton, he serves as Director of the Transportation Program where he continues his basic research in transportation focused on the real-time operation of large fleets of driverless vehicles and on the development of Deep-Learning Neural Networks that safely drive road vehicles. He is the Editor of the Smart Driving Cars Newsletter, Organizer of the Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCars Summits, and Board Chair of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA). He is currently in the process of creating a major Center for Automated Road Transportation Safety. Professor Kornhauser completed 14 NYC Marathons.