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ENG Distinguished Lecture: Dr. John J. Leonard

About the series

Please join the NSF Directorate for Engineering on Thursday, May 16, 2019 for a Distinguished Lecture by Dr. John Leonard of MIT. His lecture is titled "Challenges and Opportunities in Automated Driving."

Attending the lecture
NSF asks in-person visitors to register in advance. Please contact Brian Gray by May 14, 2019, and see important NSF visitor information -- including identification requirements -- at Visit NSF.  

You may also attend via WebEx: 

Event number: 903 729 393
Event password: ENG_Lect_May16
Event address: https://nsf2.webex.com/nsf2/onstage/g.php?MTID=e11e75bd4ada7d96b0f11e9c2e76c6e31 

If you prefer to dial-in for audio:
USA Toll: +1-510-210-8882
Global call-in numbers: https://nsf2.webex.com/nsf2/globalcallin.php?serviceType=EC&ED=13851552&tollFree=0 
Access code: 903 729 393

About the lecture
Dr. John J. Leonard of MIT will describe some of the challenges and opportunities in autonomy research today, with a focus on self-driving research. He will discuss major challenges and research opportunities in self-driving, including building and maintaining high-resolution maps, interacting with humans both inside and outside vehicles, dealing with adverse weather, and achieving sufficiently high detection with low probabilities of false alarms in challenging settings.

Dr. Leonard will also review different approaches to automated driving, including SAE Level 2 and SAE Level 4 systems, as well as the Toyota Guardian approach, which flips the conventional mindset from having the human guard the artificial intelligence (AI) (as in SAE Level 2 systems) to instead using AI to guard the human. 

He will also highlight research opportunities in mapping, localization, perception, prediction, and planning and control to realize improved safety through advanced automation in the future.

About the speaker
Dr. Leonard is Samuel C. Collins Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, and a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).  His research addresses the problems of navigation and mapping for autonomous mobile robots and underwater vehicles. 

Since 2016, Professor Leonard has also worked at Toyota Research Institute (TRI). At TRI, Dr. Leonard is helping create the Toyota Guardian system for increasing the safety of human driving by exploiting advanced perception and navigation capabilities developed by the mobile robotics research community. 

Dr. Leonard obtained his B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering and Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1987) and a D.Phil. in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford (1994). He received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1998, an E.T.S. Walton Visitor Award from Science Foundation Ireland in 2004, and the King-Sun Fu Memorial Best IEEE Transactions on Robotics Paper Award in 2006. He was the team lead for MIT's team at the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, one of the six teams to cross the finish line in the final event. In 2013, Dr. Leonard was named an IEEE Fellow.

Past events in this series