Distinguished Lecture Series with Karl Wunderlich, Ph.D.

Distinguished Lecture Series with Karl Wunderlich, Ph.D.

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Speaker(s): Karl Wunderlich, Ph.D., Director of the Surface Transportation Division — Noblis, Director — Noblis Autonomous Systems Research Center

Presentation Title: Inside the Multi-Machine Maneuver Transaction: Implications of Trust, Fault, and Machine Reputation

Location: U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) Collaborative Meeting Space
2901 Baxter Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (Room 139)

Date/Time: Thursday, March 14th, 2024 | 2:00 PM ET

Continuing Education Units (CEU): .1*
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Abstract: Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are often portrayed charting an inevitable pathway towards transformative roadway system efficiency and safety. However, current AVs are designed to operate within (and limited by) a legacy system of laws, liabilities, licensing, taxation, control systems and normative behaviors built on the assumption that vehicles will have human drivers. In other words, even if an AV may be able to go faster, corner more tightly or safely maneuver around obstacles with a margin of error much smaller than human drivers, they must remain restricted, for now, to maneuvers expected from a human-driven vehicle for two key reasons. First, deviation from legacy norms would disrupt nearby human drivers; second, current AVs are simply not ready to self-organize outside our legacy system. By default, then, in the near-term we must rely on the speed limits, lane lines, stop signals and other rules of the road we have developed in a broadly ad hoc fashion in 100+ years of human-driven automobility. But once we have millions of AVs in motion at the same time and AVs are the norm not the exception, are the legacy forms of general self-organization that compensate for the limitations of human drivers still practical, or even desirable?

Dr. Karl Wunderlich, Director of the Surface Transportation Systems Division at Noblis, will join the first CCAT Distinguished Lecture of 2024 to discuss Noblis’ proposed broader ecosystem that includes transaction and trust management which is built on a decentralized distributed ledger solution. A reputational trust report for all vehicles is managed externally by a consortium of entities facilitating the ecosystem’s transactions. Value distribution in such a system may consider all parties facilitating aspects of the transaction, including yielding priority, providing, and maintaining the maneuver space, providing maneuver and sensor verification reports, providing reliable position and timing data, managing trust reports and recording transactions. Noblis is currently conducting research to examine the viability of such a system and its potential to address long-standing issues in equitable roadway system financial sustainability.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Wunderlich is the Director of the Surface Transportation Division at Noblis, a not-for-profit system engineering and strategic planning firm. He also serves the Director of the Noblis Autonomous Systems Research Center in Reston, VA. Dr. Wunderlich is an expert in the use of simulation techniques to evaluate the potential impact of emerging technologies to improve shared infrastructure system efficiency and productivity –including vehicle connectivity and cooperative autonomy. He is a published author and patent-holder in orchestrated autonomy, which leverages distributed ledger technologies to create efficient, collision-free path plans involving heterogenous, unfamiliar, and autonomous machines. Dr. Wunderlich has led over three dozen federal R&D research projects and is an author or co-author of more than 50 publications and federal guidance documents, including the 2019 Update to the FHWA Traffic Analysis Tools Volume III: Guide on Micro-Simulation. Dr. Wunderlich holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan (1994).