Javad Velni

Javad Mohammadpour Velni, an associate professor in UGA’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the principal investigator for the project.

The University of Georgia College of Engineering has received a $733,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop systems that help self-driving cars safely navigate roads, according to a Nov. 19 news release.

The team will research ways for self-driving cars to communicate amongst themselves and create algorithms for the cars to work in “ environments full of uncertainty,” according to the release. Researchers will harness artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to try to make the system learn from data and identify patterns.

Javad Mohammadpour Velni, an associate professor in UGA’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the principal investigator for the project.

“Somehow, the autonomous vehicles will need to understand the potential impact of humans, who might not make the most logical decisions while driving,” Velni said in the release. “Our goal is to capture the uncertainties of the environment and how they impact decisions autonomous vehicles must make.”

Velni and the UGA researchers will work with other scientists at the University of Central Florida. Both teams will build small models of self-driving cars — the size of a lawnmower — then test their systems on regular-size vehicles.

“Our goal is to capture the uncertainties of the environment and how they impact decisions autonomous vehicles must make,” said Velni. “You have to account for every possible scenario.”

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