Honda envisions a future where unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) work in tandem with cars on the road. Students on this team will build on previous path-planning research, developing and testing various use cases for drones to enhance the automotive driving experience, such as increasing the perception range of automobiles by sensing areas, and streaming data back to the autonomous vehicle.
Honda is working comprehensively to address challenges in the areas of the environment and safety. Their research domain includes vehicle-to-everything (V2X), and automated vehicle research to enhance safety, mobility, and sustainability to a variety of road users such as drivers, pedestrians, and micromobility users/providers. Honda’s vision of a micromobility future involves robotic systems operating harmoniously in the air and on the ground. One example of this is utilizing drones to coordinate with and enhance the operation of cars on the road by interacting with connected vehicles and the environment around them. Students on this team will build on previous path planning research, and will propose, develop, and test use cases for drones to enhance the automotive driving experience.
This project will advance the strategic research within the Honda Research Institute, and prepare for complex, multi-agent autonomous unit interaction.
Minimum Viable Product Deliverable (Minimum level of success)
- Background review of drone-vehicle interaction, including patent search, understanding of sponsor knowledge, limitations, and best practices (if any)
- Implement the following use cases: (1) The drone can be used to increase the perception range for autonomous vehicle by sensing areas and streaming the data back to the autonomous vehicle; and (2) The drone can be sent from an Emergency Vehicle to warn drivers on the road that there is an emergency vehicle coming through, well before the emergency vehicle arrives at the location. For example, a drone can be sent to an intersection and start flashing strobe lights in the middle of the intersection until the emergency vehicle arrives at the intersection
- Completion of an initial version of a prototype/model
Expected Final Deliverable (Expected level of success)
- Working prototype of drone-vehicle enhancement system evaluated at Honda or in M-Fly
- Revised system based on results of evaluation
- Student ideation of drone to vehicle interaction opportunities in areas including, but not limited to ADAS, safety, and improved driving experience. Down selection of top idea for feasibility study
- Incorporating additional use cases into the prototype/model
Stretch Goal Opportunities: (High level of success)
- Execution of additional enhancement ideas
Computer Vision (2-3 Students)
Specific Skills: Machine vision and computer vision, real time signal acquisition and signal processing
EECS 281 (or equivalent) is required
Likely Majors: CS, ROB, CE, EE
Robotic Controls (2-3 Students)
Specific Skills: Controls, dynamics, manipulation of robotic systems
Likely Majors: ROB, NAME, NERS, ME
Wireless Communication (2-3 Students)
Specific Skills: Vehicle/Drone connectivity sensor implementation including GPS, IMU, on board camera, WIFI
Likely Majors: EE, ECE, CE, ROB
Additional Desired Skills/Knowledge/Experience
- Honda has a strong consensus culture – we highly value effective teamwork.
- Experience on team-based engineering projects.
- Practical experience designing for drone applications
- Interest in control theory, and desire to grow your skills
- Experience/knowledge with GPS, IMU, WIFI and drone platforms
- Practical experience with remote communication
- Interest in ADAS and automotive safety is a plus
After Receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Georgia Southern University, Tyler joined Honda as a research engineer. His research focuses on autonomous vehicle and micro-mobility applications. This is his third year participating in the Multidisciplinary Design Program.
Aerospace Engineering Department
Alex Gorodetsky is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering. His research interests include using applied mathematics and computational science to enhance autonomous decision making under uncertainty. He is especially interested in controlling systems, like autonomous aircraft, that must act in complex environments which are often represented by expensive computational simulations. Toward this goal, he pursues research in wide-ranging areas, including uncertainty quantification, statistical inference, machine learning, numerical analysis, function approximation, control, and optimization.
Alex completed his Ph.D. (2016) and S.M. (2012) in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked on algorithms for stochastic optimal control and estimation in dynamical systems. He received his B.S.E (2010) in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Project Meetings: During the winter 2024 semester, the Honda Drone team will meet at Honda Research Institute in Ann Arbor on Fridays from 3:00 – 5:00 PM. (MDP will provide transportation)
Work Location: Honda has an R&D Center located in Ann Arbor. We will provide the students with hardware and space to work. (MDP will provide transportation to the facility)
Course Substitutions: CE MDE, ChE Elective, CS Capstone/MDE, DS Capstone, EE MDE, CoE Honors, IOE Senior Design, ROB 490, ROB 590, SI Elective/Cognate
Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students. Note: International students on an F-1 visa will be required to declare part time CPT during Winter 2024 and Fall 2024 terms.
IP/NDA: Students will sign standard University of Michigan IP/NDA documents.
Summer Project Activities: Students will be guaranteed an interview for a 2024 internship. The interviews will take place before the end of February of 2024. Note: You must have the right work in the U.S.A indefinitely, without sponsorship, to participate in the summer internship program.