• Technical Conference:  13 – 17 September 2020
  • Science & Industry Showcase:  15 – 16 September 2020

2019 Autonomous Systems Program

The programming on Autonomous Systems will feature presentations that span the breadth of opportunity that autonomy is bringing to the optics and photonics community. Invited speakers will share their insights from their industry perspective on technologies that are relevant to platforms that span from autonomous space vehicles to optical sensing and illumination breakthroughs for drones, automobiles and robotics. Global leaders will share projections of market needs and volumes for sensors and the challenges with regulations and compliance for future autonomy safety and performance standards. This content should give a significant snapshot of the current state-of-the art in autonomous platforms and the challenges that optics and photonics research can help solve over the next decade.


Visionary Talk: Autonomous Systems

Visionary Speaker: Mohan Trivedi, University of California San Diego, USA

As head of UCSD's Computer Vision and Robotics Research laboratory, Professor Trivedi oversees projects such as a robotic, sensor-based traffic-incident monitoring and response system (sponsored by Caltrans). Trivedi's projects typically integrate active perception and machine vision; interactive graphical interfaces for human-machine interaction; distributed video networks; and, increasingly, wireless connectivity and remote sensing. He is knowledgeable about the use of mobile robots in hazardous situations such as disaster response, having consulted on their use in nuclear environments. Trivedi is also leading an interdisciplinary effort, as UCSD layer leader for intelligent transportation and telematics for the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)2].


Session: Autonomous Systems - Market Overviews

Alexis Debray, Yole Développement, France
David Klein, AUVSI, USA


Session: LIDAR Sensors and Systems
LiDAR sensors, or light detection and ranging sensors, play a key role in detecting surrounding objects and feeding the information to the car's artificial intelligence (AI) system for self-driving capabilities. Several types od LIDARS (see below) exist, including mechanical-mirror, 3D flash, and optical phase array (OPA), as well as solid-state. The latter has emerged as the most popular LiDAR type thanks to falling per-unit costs, packaging appeal, and performance. But several of the new technologies (metamaterials, photonic integrated circuits, etc) are starting to gain visibility.

Gleb Akselrod, Lumotive, LLC, USA
Barrie Keyworth, Lumentum, USA
Phil Sandborn, OURS Technology, Inc., USA
Paul Banks, Tetravue, USA


Session: Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry is growing rapidly, moving from what was predominantly a defense-related platform into various commercial, first responder, surveillance and other government markets. Commercially these autonomous systems contribute to a diverse range of applications such as archeological imaging, infrastructure assessment, agricultural inspection, and land surveillance and mapping. The rapid transition into these markets has been because of the data acquisition capability brought about by optics and photonics payloads. The utilization of drones across these diverse areas and their use of imaging systems, sensors, and laser-based technologies will be highlighted by our experts in this session.

Charles Pippin, Georgia Tech Research Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, USA
Pratap Tokekar, University of Maryland, USA

Panel on Connectivity and Cyber-Security for Autonomous Systems
One of the major challenges for Autonomous vehicles is that in-vehicle networks, infotainment, and safety applications will generate and consume vast over-the-air real-time data streams at speeds of up to 24 Gbps, thanks to wireless communication and 5G cellular networks. Analysts envision that connected cars will send 25 gigabytes of data to the cloud every hour, using analytics to fuel and optimize complex, interdependent applications, making driving safer for everyone. Edge computing will also play a likely role in the networking. One other worry is that the communication systems between AV’s and infrastructure present remote attack access for hackers to exploit system weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
John D'Ambrosia, Futurewei, USA
Steven Carlson, High Speed Design Inc, USA
Krishnan Padmanabhan, Winston & Strawn LLP


Panel on Autonomous Platforms: Safety Challenges and Opportunities
Moderator: Anthony Cooke, Luminar, USA

As autonomous platforms start to move to higher levels of autonomy, there are multiple barriers to full acceptance, and many of them involve the optics and photonics community. Our panel today will explore several of these challenges and how our community can contribute to a safe and more rapid acceptance. Some of the issues involve laser eye-safety and obstacle recognition, both of which are due to multiple sensors on vehicles, and are being explored by many LiDAR-based companies developing these technologies. Other opportunities to be discussed will include the roles of industry in setting standards for sensors on autonomous platforms. Many of these standards for local and global implementation of electronics on autonomous platforms are set by the Society for Automotive Engineers International (SAE) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, and these will be highlighted by this esteemed panel.  

S. William Gouse, SAE International, USA
Erwin K. Lau, Exponent, USA
Johnathan Morrison, NHTSA Chief Counsel


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