We will describe some of the challenges and opportunities in autonomy
research today, with a focus on trends and lessons in self-driving
car 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 discuss the promise of Deep Learning and the
opportunities of developing Parallel Autonomy systems, in which highly
automated algorithms operates in parallel with human operators, with
the aim of achieving the best of both human and autonomous control.
John J. Leonard is Samuel C. Collins Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also 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. 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). He is an IEEE Fellow (2014). Professor Leonard is currently on sabbatical leave from MIT serving as Vice President for Autonomous Driving Research at Toyota Research Institute, where he is performing research to improve vehicle safety using autonomous driving technologies.