CS294: Projects

Project 1: Highway Merging/Lane Change Technology

We all know one of the most stressful maneuvers is merging into a busy highway. We have to look forward and backwards, and estimate the speed and arrival times of multiple other vehicles. In fact, mergning is also one of the most dangerous maneuvers, which causes plenty accidents. This project seeks to devise technology to make the merging experience less stressful and also safer. Building on Junior-Technology for tracking nearby vehicles, we want to develop XXX where XXX helps a person making a safe merging decision without stress. XXX should use Junior's lasers and radars to track nearby vehicles, and its lasr nd GPS technology for localization. It may use acoustic displays, estimate speeds of approaching cars, and also use information about the length and shape of the merging lane. We would like to evaluate XXX and measure its effect on driver stress and driver safety.

Project 2: Adaptive Steering Wheel

The steering wheel, as we know it, commands the angle of the frond tires. That is because it was invented in the 1800s, where the laws of mechanics ruled the world. In this project, we would like to redefine the steering wheel. In particular, we observe that the steering wheel combines multiple functions. The driver uses it to make voluntary driving decisions, such as inducing lane changes. But she also uses it to "trace the road curvature". We would like to build a steering wheel that only focuses on voluntary driving decisions. This new steering wheel will use a map of the highway and automatically follow the highway curvature. So from a driver's perspective, every road will be straight when it comes to steering. Put differently, without further input the car will keep a constant lateral offset to the road center. When a human driver steers actively, we want to use this input signal to change the lateral offset to the highway center. So the steering wheel will only be used to command voluntary changes. We would like to measure the effect of this new steering wheel on people. Will they feel more comfortable? Will they steer less? (will this be a historical project that changed cars once and forever?)

Project 3: Close Convoy Driving

It has been estimated that vehicles driving at 4m range at speeds of 65mph will consume up to 20% less gas, just by reducing air drag. They will also increase the capacity of highways by up to 400% - an important number in the time of endless highway congestion. But how do people feel when driving at distances that we cannot possibly control? This project will develop a new adaptive cruise control that minimizes driving range to the car ahead. We will evaluate the psychology of the driver, and invent methods for making the driver comfortable with this new mode of driving. We will develop smooth entry and exist techniques for joining and disjoining close convoys. The work will utilize Junior's laser- and radar-based vehicle tracking technology.

Course overview
Time and location
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