Paul Theodosis on Autonomous cars vs. racecar drivers

  • June 5, 2014 · 6:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

You asked for technical, we're giving you technical! Come learn how Paul has researched pushing the limits of an autonomous vehicle and competing with professional drivers on a race course.

Again, food starts at 6pm, talk starts at 6:30pm. See you there!

Automated vehicles can potentially improve the safety of the average driver in emergency situations. Many accidents occur because the car has reached the limits of its capability such as in hazardous weather conditions. Professional racecar drivers routinely operate at the limits of handling to win races, so a unique way to provide safety systems for future automated vehicles is to emulate the skills of professional drivers. The presentation will discuss how a family of simple curves can be used to create trajectories that incorporate professional driving techniques. Experimental results of the resulting trajectory was implemented on an automated vehicle demonstrate performance that surpasses the average driver. This path planning structure offers an approach that can be generalized to many different safety critical situations.

Paul Theodosis is a PhD student at Stanford University working on autonomous racecars. His research centers on path planning at the limits of handling, dynamic modeling to problems in nonlinear control, estimation and diagnostics. He was part of the autonomous Audi TTs project that raced up Pikes Peak in 2010. He now tests the autonomous Audi at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, Ca. At this racetrack, he works on improving the car’s lap time to beat the best human drivers and developing real-time trajectory modification to avoid danger. He currently works in the Dynamic Design Lab with Chris Gerdes as his advisor.

Join or login to comment.

  • Michael D.

    I see that that Paul's presentation is already up on iTunes (­). Pretty impressive, Greg!

    3 · June 17

  • Paul

    Thanks for your enthusiasm and support! This was such a great group to interact with. I appreciate your insightful questions and comments. I'm excited to help make commercial automated cars a reality. Thanks Greg for inviting me.

    4 · June 6

  • Manav K.

    I couldn't attend unfortunately. Was this recorded?

    June 5

    • Gregory D.

      i got all the audio and *most* of the video (battery in camera died :( ) i will post asap and let you know. search for the "driving innovation" podcast by Nissan

      1 · June 6

    • Ian G.

      Couldn't attend either but looking forward to listening to the podcast/video!

      June 6

  • Roger M.

    An amazing job! This was by far the best meetup ever!! Race car stuff and high technology. I was only sorry to see him finish his material.

    1 · June 6

  • Luther J.

    Paul did an excellent job of clearly explaining and framing very technical information.

    1 · June 6

  • Bob C.

    very informative

    June 5

  • Natsu K.

    That was amazing presentation and great networking. Thank you for the talk Paul, and organizing Gregory. Looking forward to next time!

    1 · June 5

  • Tim T.

    Excellent! Great to see a fairly technical talk. An interesting follow-up could be on the commercial potential of this and similar technology. How does an investor look at technologies like this and building companies around it?

    1 · June 5

  • Laura R.

    Excellent! Interesting, well-spoken, clear and concise.

    1 · June 5

  • Roger B.

    Good mix between technical stuff and the reason for it. Paul has a good grasp of the scope of the issues surrounding even simple ( in the grand scheme of things) single car lap time optimization. He will have fun in Dearborn !

    2 · June 5

  • Paul P.

    Ha Ha. Racing drivers techniques to be installed in the soft ware for autonomous cars. Ya gatta be on crack!

    Most Kalifornication drivers would s*&t themselves if their car came anywhere near race car handling. Just watch the road crap on 280 any morning or afternoon with the Prius/Volvo/BMW idiots.

    1 · June 2

Create your own Meetup Group

Get started Learn more

Meetup has allowed me to meet people I wouldn't have met naturally - they're totally different than me.

Allison, started Women's Adventure Travel

Start your Meetup today

Act now and get 50% off.
Until February 1.

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy