Tarif Haque: A Mobile Interface for Autonomous Vehicle Trajectory Control

University of Alabama Student Spends Summer at the Controls of a Driverless Car

Many students go home for the summer. Others leave home and challenge themselves. Tarif Haque, a computer science student and columnist at the Crimson White, challenged himself. He spent the summer in Tucson, Ariz. at the controls of a driverless car.

As part of a prestigious National Science Foundation program, Haque spent 10 weeks with nine other college students helping advance the University of Arizona’s CAT vehicle, or cognitive and autonomous test vehicle.

“If you are studying computer science or electrical engineering and you like programming, appreciate a good challenge, and want something new and refreshing, I’d recommend this program,” he said.

The NSF program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, provides opportunities for undergraduates to work with faculty mentors and graduate students at universities throughout the United States.

Haque and two teammates worked on designing a mobile interface for inputting trajectories and having the robotic car make smart decisions about safety.

 “I did not know much about the software architecture that the autonomous car runs on,” said Haque, “so I definitely became a better programmer.”

Haque also learned a great deal about what it means to do research.

“The students left here knowing what research was and how interested they were in doing research,” said UA electrical and computer engineering professor Jonathan Sprinkle, a recent NSF Career Award winner who led the 2013 University of Arizona REU program.

Whether or not Haque chooses to further pursue a research path, he is sure of one thing. The CAT vehicle REU delivered what it promised.

“It was a very productive environment in which to do research and work on an autonomous vehicle,” he said. “We were all talking about and doing similar things.”


To view a video about Tarif Haque’s REU experience, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcDMuRtITLQ&list=PLcXdwRQiNMIrddWAggJ_6M7xa6kxrhkp7

For more on the UA CAT vehicle program, visit http://catvehicle.arizona.edu/

To learn about the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, visit http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/


Professor Jonathan Sprinkle, University of Arizona College of Engineering