Faculty liaisons: Venkat VenkatakrishnanBo Zou

Autonomous vehicles stand to reshape how people and things are moved in the United States and around the world. How we develop autonomous vehicles will affect traffic safety, road congestion, public transportation, the environment, information security, jobs and the economy, and quality of life. Researchers and practitioners alike have been working to gain a better understanding of different autonomous vehicle technologies and systems, their applications, and their ramifications as the idea of self-driving cars, boats, trains, and even aircraft capture the world’s imagination and move closer to implementation.

The Autonomous Vehicles Working Group was created to define the role of UIC Engineering in this global conversation, capitalizing on our faculty’s wide array of research expertise.

Focus areas

UIC Engineering faculty offer strengths in two broad areas:

Shared autonomous mobility systems

Research in this area creates novel models and tools in transportation engineering, operations research, computing, and big data to advance understanding of autonomous vehicle adoption and assess system-level effects of autonomous vehicles on future mobility for passengers and freight. Outcomes of research in this area are expected to inform relevant policymaking and regulation.

Autonomous vehicle motion control and safety

This research involves short-, medium-, and long-term robust control with communications as well as machine-learning techniques to improve autonomous-vehicle movement efficiency and safety. Research of this nature provides excellent opportunities for industry partnerships; UIC faculty members already have several collaborations in place with vehicle manufacturers and technology companies.

UIC Engineering faculty are also active in other areas that are relevant to autonomous vehicles. These include: integration of power and autonomous mobility systems, algorithm design in support of solving complex system modeling and vehicle control problems, cybersecurity, nanomaterial design, test design for fault detection and self-repair, computer vision and visualization, and communication theories. These areas complement the two primary research areas and have significant potential for furthering research investigation and collaboration.

Working Group Mission and Goals

  • Establish a community of expertise at UIC in the area of autonomous vehicles
  • Collaborate on broad-reaching research initiatives related to autonomous vehicles
  • Serve as a conduit for knowledge transfer between academia and industry
  • Support the development of undergraduate and graduate curriculum
  • Recognize relevant research contributions from within and outside UIC
  • Create a clearinghouse of scholarly resources and best practices

Working Group Research Areas

  • Autonomous vehicle adoption
  • Future mobility system design
  • Vehicle motion control and safety
  • Vehicle power system design
  • Sensing and communication
  • Security and privacy issues
  • Body materials
  • Computer vision and visualization
  • Public acceptance, policy, and society-level issues