CCAT Director Joins PAVEcast to Discuss AVs

CCAT Director Joins PAVEcast to Discuss AVs


CCAT Director, Dr. Henry Liu, was recently a guest on the PAVEcast, a show all about the future of transportation. The PAVEcast is led by the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education and is hosted by Ed Niedermeyer, PAVE’s Communications Director. PAVE is a nonprofit coalition working to raise the level of public knowledge about autonomous vehicle technology.

Henry and Ed discussed the two organizations’ shared mission to provide education about life-saving technology such as vehicle connectivity. Henry specifically dove into some of the efforts that CCAT participates in expanding knowledge including the U-M Nexus Foundations of Mobility course, the creation of the Michigan Transportation Student Organization (MiTSO), and Washtenaw Community College’s role in K-12 student outreach. CCAT sponsors several MiTSO activities such as tours of facilities, guest lecturer visits, and travel to the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting.

The discussion then moved to the issues surrounding the large-scale deployment of automated vehicles. Henry argues that training and testing are “two sides of one coin”; if an engineer knows a computer agent’s weakness, then they know how to train it as well. Safety performance is the highest priority for those that are developing this technology, but there’s a problem: safety-critical events, even in testing, are rare. To accelerate the development of AVs, the team at CCAT has developed a naturalistic and adversarial driving environment (NADE) that increases the frequency of these events, such as hard braking, cut-ins, or an animal entering the roadway.

If you’re interested in learning more about the education and technology transfer efforts of the Center, you can listen to the PAVEcast episode below:

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