Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Hyundai Distinguished Lecturer – Professor J. Christian Gerdes

Please join us for the next seminar in the Hyundai Distinguished Lecturer Series, hosted by The

Hyundai Center of Excellence in Vehicle Dynamic Systems & Control at the Department of

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UC Davis.


Refreshments will be served!




Department of Mechanical Engineering

Stanford University


Title: Moving Automated Vehicle Forward by Getting a Little Sideways



Automated vehicles have the potential to greatly improve traffic safety by reducing collisions

with other road users. In many cases, avoiding such collisions requires driving at the limits of the

vehicle’s capabilities, as defined by the available friction between the tire and road and the laws

of physics. Due to nonlinearities in the underlying dynamics, the behavior of vehicles near the

handling limits changes dramatically, presenting challenges to control systems just as they

present to human drivers. For automated vehicles to deliver their full potential for safety,

however, they must be able to comfortably operate in regions at or beyond the handling limits.

While this sort of a control presents a major challenge to most humans, race car drivers routinely

press cars to their limits in the pursuit of the best lap time. This talk presents the results of several

projects inspired by the goal of giving automated vehicles car control capabilities that rival or

exceed the best human drivers. These include developing algorithms for racing around a closed

circuit, controlling vehicles in the unstable region of handling defined by drifting and trading off

between stability and collision avoidance in driver assistance or full automation systems.

Collectively, this research leads to a deep appreciation for human skill in racing and optimism

that, with persistence, we will be able to achieve comparable awesomeness with automation.

The talk blends simple mathematical descriptions of vehicle handling with video demonstrating

the performance of human drivers and the control systems they have inspired.

Date(s) - 11/12/2015
4:10 pm - 5:00 pm

1062 Bainer Classroom


Loading Map....