Automated car safety

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Arizona is a hot bed for testing automated cars, but they also come with a host of safety concerns. Now, ASU researchers are exploring ways to make automated cars safer. Dr. YZ Yang, an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Fulton Schools at ASU, is working to understand traffic through monitoring and data collection to inform autonomous vehicles.

Dr. Yang has developed an inexpensive, integrated hardware and software solution for traffic counting, or gathering data about vehicle and pedestrian traffic passing through intersections. Through roadside cameras installed at intersections, Dr. Yang can track and model estimates on the speed, acceleration and deceleration of vehicles, in addition to various scenarios at intersections like pedestrian behaviors.

“I’m directing the active perception group which essentially talks about concerns about using sensors to monitor and track vehicles and all kinds of objects in the road to make intelligent systems make decisions that are more intelligent,” said Dr. Yang.

Dr. Yang and his team use already existing intersection cameras with their own artificial intelligence algorithm to analyze vehicles with their speed, location, acceleration and other traffic events. This data is collected and used by the public as well as car manufacturers to study how their vehicles act when on the road.

One possible struggle Dr. Yang and his team face is the public perception of using AI technology to regulate other AI technology in autonomous cars, but Dr. Yang is confident in the systems he and his team have built.

“There is a couple things as a researcher we can do to essentially convince the general public that a lot of AI technology is safer and good for society. One thing is public education to give the general public a fair view of all the technologies that is actually evolving and growing rapidly all across the country,” said Dr. Yang.

Dr. Yezhou "YZ" Yang, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Fulton Schools at ASU

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