In recent years, we have witnessed a series of technological advancements that are making devices for computation, communication, sensing, mobility, and actuation increasingly capable, inexpensive, and portable. These advancements are making it possible to endow many of the systems and products that affect the life and productivity of individuals and organizations with unprecedented abilities to interact intelligently with their users and with their surrounding environment, and to communicate with one another over possibly vast and pervasive networks. The potential societal and economic impact of such increasingly ubiquitous cyber-physical systems is substantial, and has been recognized as such in a number of important initiatives worldwide.
In this context, I find the problem of controlling the physical motion of intelligent man-made devices and vehicles with the skill, efficiency, and grace of expert pilots, drivers, or even gymnasts, particularly fascinating. This is especially true when such motions weave through a complicated, dynamically changing environment, and reveal the ability to interact seamlessly with others. Hence, my main research interests lie in the general area of planning and control for mobile robotic systems, with a particular emphasis on autonomous vehicles and transportation networks.
Over the past several years, I have been particularly interested in the development of new approaches for smart urban mobility.
Cities are evolving rapidly across the world. Change is driven by a variety of factors: new technological possibilities, increased constraints on energy use, deep change in the structure of urban economies, rapidly evolving urban lifestyles, and new ideas about urban design. The goal of of my research in this area will be to harness new technologies for ubiquitous automation (including, in particular, autonomous, self-driving cars), as well as for technologies for large-scale data collection, processing, and exploitation, to provide more efficient, accessible, safe, and sustainable mobility to the citizens and businesses of metropolitan areas worldwide.