Recap — Chicago City Data Users Group: Self-Driving Automobiles

 |   Adam J. Hecktman

Autonomous vehicles hold the promise to reduce urban congestion, optimize transit efficiencies, and connect vehicles to external systems, as well as other vehicles.  What is the “engine” that “drives” those potentially game changing benefits?  Data.  Data from and used by the autonomous vehicle itself, vehicle-to-vehicle data sharing, vehicle to traffic control systems, and the ever critical data used to determine pedestrians and other obstacles.

On April 6th, the Chicago City Data Users Group was fortunate to have as a speaker Matthew Walter.  Matthew was a research scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT, and is an Assistant Professor at Toyota Technological Institute, studying the analytics that come from autonomous vehicles.  Matthew certainly has the right background for this.  His team at MIT came in 4th place at the DARPA Grand Challenge around self-driving cars…in 2005!  Way ahead of his time.

At the Chicago City Data Users Group, he discussed the on-board systems, the data they use, and the data they produce.  Data comes from many sources including cameras on the car (with special considerations for snow, sand storms, etc), lasers, on-board engine analytics, and data coming from external systems.  See more on this great event here: https://storify.com/csrollyson/self-driving-cars-how-sensors-analytics-work.

You can see the full session here:

YouTube Video

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Adam J. Hecktman
Adam J. Hecktman

You may recognize Adam. He’s a regular on TV, you can hear him on the radio, he’s penned numerous articles and is the co-founder of the Chicago City Data Users Group. But some of Adam’s most important work is done behind the scenes in his role as Microsoft’s Director of Technology and Civic Engagement for Chicago. Tech giants, universities and government leaders turn to Adam for guidance on all matters technology, and he happily obliges, helping Chicago overcome challenges and capitalizing on new, exciting opportunities.