Miguel de Jesus: Cooperative Collision Avoidance for Autonomous Vehicle Platoons

University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Student Spends Summer at the Controls of a Driverless Car

Students are returning to class with stories to tell about what they did over summer break. But how many can say they spent the summer at the controls of a driverless car? Miguel Angel de Jesus can.

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

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 and Puerto Rico. De Jesus felt it was a perfect fit for him.

"If I could, I would study all my life,” he said. “It’s like a challenge; the more you study, the more you learn, and the more you realize that there’s more you need to learn."

De Jesus and two teammates worked with light detection and ranging, or LIDAR, a remote-sensing technology that uses data gathered from bounced light to create detailed 3-D maps, and in this case enabled the CAT vehicle to detect and react to obstacles.

"We were working on vehicle-to-vehicle communication to help the car avoid collisions for a better, safer driving experience down the road," he said.

University of Arizona electrical and computer engineering professor Jonathan Sprinkle, a recent NSF Career Award winner who led the 2013 University of Arizona REU program, said the program gives students a good idea of what life is like as a researcher.

“The students left here knowing what research was and how interested they were in doing research,” he said.

De Jesus is pretty sure he wants to continue on with research.

“I am going to keep working with this project,” he said. "One day I want to become a professor and help other people learn."


To view a video about Miguel de Jesus’ 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