Co-Pilot Drone for Enhanced Vehicle Experience

Co-Pilot Drone for Enhanced Vehicle Experience

As one of Hyundai Motor Group’s (HMG) ten centers focused on research and development (R&D), Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) was established in 1986 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. HATCI is HMG’s design, technology and engineering headquarters for North America.

Students on this team will leverage an off-the-shelf quadcopter/drone, designing a custom on-vehicle docking station and programming an accompanying mobile app using the drone manufacturer’s open-source SDK. When in flight, the drone will capture information about the environment surrounding a vehicle, and will communicate that information back to the vehicle in the form of alerts, video, images, etc. The goal of this project is to demonstrate specific ways that a companion drone could enhance our customers’ vehicle driving and vehicle ownership experience.

The team will have access to a vehicle and FAA-approved fly-space for the drone at the HATCI facility in Ann Arbor.

More Information


Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign the following documents in January 2018:

Click here to view Student IP Agreement

Check back in September for NDA agreement.

How to Apply

Project Features

  • Skill level All levels
  • Students 5-7 Students
  • Likely Majors AERO, Any, CE, CS, ECE, EE, ISD-AUTO, ME
  • Course Substitutions Honors, ISD-Auto, ISD-GAME, ECE Cognate, EECS 498, ME 490, ROB 590, EE MDE, CE MDE
  • IP & NDA Required? Yes
  • Summer Opportunity See Complete Description for Details
  • Android Programming

    Building the drone/quadcopter app

    • Likely Majors: CSE/CS-LSA, Any
  • Electrical/Mechanical Design

    Electrical/mechanical design of power circuits within docking station. Students should have knowledge of both fields.

    • Likely Majors: ME + EE coursework
  • Mechanical Design & Fabrication

    Design, fabrication and testing of the on-vehicle drone

    • Likely Majors: ME, AERO

Sponsor Mentor: Margaux Balagna
New Concept Planner, Superior Township, MI (Lead Sponsor)
UofM Engineering alumna. Responsible for scouting new automotive technology and consumer technology for Hyundai-Kia future vehicles. Help to identify automotive trends and develop themed vehicle concepts including vehicle-drone interactions.
Sponsor Mentor: Amanda Christiana
Technology Team Lead, Superior Township, MI (Supporting Sponsor)

UofM Engineering alumna. Responsible for leading user experience based innovation activities, and helping teams at HATCI to secure intellectual property on key technologies. Support technology scouting and planning for future Hyundai-Kia vehicles.
Faculty Mentor: Vineet Kamat
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Vineet R. Kamat is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. He received his PhD and MSE degrees at Virginia Tech in 2003 and 2000, respectively, and his BE Degree with distinction from Goa University In India in 1998, all in Civil Engineering. His research is focused on automation and robotics, and its applications in the construction, operation, and maintenance of civil infrastructure systems. His research has also involved real-time robotic monitoring and visualization with applications in built environment monitoring and control. he has authored more than one-hundred peer-reviewed papers on topics of his research interest including mobile robotics, scene understanding, robot perception, and pose estimation.