Technical Program

Day 1 — Thursday 18 May 2017

8:30AM-9:00AM Coffee and Light Refreshments
9:00AM-9:30AM Welcome and Introduction
Alexander M. Wyglinski & Raghvendra V. Cowlagi, WPI
9:30AM-11:00AM Lecture 1: “GPS for Automated Vehicle Applications”
Jason Rife, Tufts University
11:00AM-12:00PM Project Overview: NSF CPS “Selective Listening – Control for Connected Autonomous Vehicles in Data-Rich Environments”
Raghvendra V. Cowlagi, WPI
12:00PM-1:00PM Lunch (on your own)
1:00PM-2:00PM Keynote Presentation
Katherine Fichter, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
2:00PM-2:30PM Networking Session / Coffee Break
2:30PM-4:00PM Lecture 2: “Connected and automated vehicles for traffic operation: modeling and control”
Danjue Chen, University of Massachusetts Lowell
4:00PM-5:30PM Lecture 3: “Radar Technology for Automotive Applications”
Bob Sletten, Autoliv
5:30PM-6:00PM Day 1 Closing Remarks


Day 2 — Friday 19 May 2017

8:30AM-9:00AM Coffee and Light Refreshments
9:00AM-10:30AM Lecture 4: “Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks: Interplay of Safety, Communications, Personalization, and Privacy”
Hossein Pishro-Nik, University of Massachusetts Amherst
10:30AM-11:00AM Networking Session / Coffee Break
11:00AM-12:30PM Lecture 5: “Model-Based Design of Connected Autonomous Vehicles”
Akshay Rajhans, Mathworks
12:30PM-1:30PM Lunch (on your own)
1:30PM-3:00PM Lecture 6: “Vehicular Connectivity 101”
Alexander M. Wyglinski, WPI
3:00PM-3:30PM Networking Session / Coffee Break
3:30PM-4:30PM Vehicular Technology Round-table Discussion “Where Are We Driving To Next?”
Moderators: Alexander M. Wyglinski & Raghvendra V. Cowlagi, WPI
4:30PM-5:00PM Day 2 Closing Remarks


Keynote Speaker

fichter2Katherine S. Fichter is the Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, where she has served in various capacities since 2004. Kate is a graduate of the University of Chicago and MIT, and has professional expertise in transportation planning and policy. Prior to her current role, Kate served as the Project Manager for the extension of the MBTA Green Line to Somerville and Medford (2007-2010) and the expansion of Boston South Station (2012-2014). She has also worked for the US Department of Transportation at the Volpe Center, and for the Massachusetts Legislature, where she worked on transportation-related issues. Kate is now responsible for overseeing multiple policy initiatives, and insuring that MassDOT policy priorities are implemented through investments and projects.




Lecture 1: “GPS for Automated Vehicle Applications”

This presentation will discuss GPS-based technologies aimed at high-accuracy and high-reliability automotive navigation. Whereas great strides have been made in developing radar, lidar, and vision-based sensing systems, GPS remains among the most widely used technologies in control and navigation of automated vehicles in agricultural, mining and construction applications. New advances in GPS research promise to make GPS-based technologies a compelling sensing option for automated road-vehicle applications, even for applications in urban canyons with limited sky visibility. A range of emerging GPS navigation research will be covered including use of non-line-of-site (NLOS) GPS signals, precise-point positioning (PPP), and verification of GPS measurement quality.



Jason Rife is an Associate Professor at Tufts University, with a primary appointment in Mechanical Engineering and an adjunct appointment in Electrical and Computer Engineering.  He directs the Automation Safety and Robotics Laboratory (ASAR), which applies theory and experiment to characterize robots and autonomous vehicle systems for safety-of-life applications.  He received his B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Lecture 2: “Connected and automated vehicles for traffic operation: modeling and control”

Lecture abstract: this lecture will first provide an overview on the impacts of connected and automated vehicles (CAV) on traffic operation.  After that, it will introduce the impacts of CAV on highway traffic flow and the policies to manage CAV to optimize roadway capacity.  Lastly, the lecture will show how to apply CAV to develop innovative strategies for traffic control.

chenDanjue Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She received her Ph.D. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and B.S from Peking University in China.  Prior to UMass Lowell in 2016, she worked as a Researcher at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a postdoc at California PATH at University of California, Berkeley.  Dr. Chen’s research aims to (1) better understand the fundamental nature of traffic flow, particularly with connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles, (2) understand the interconnection among transportation, energy, and environment emission, and (3) develop simple but innovative control strategies to promote smart and eco transportation.  Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, US Department of Transportation, and different state department of transportation.  She has published 14 papers on the top journals in the transportation area, as well as a number of book chapters and conference proceedings.

Lecture 3: “Radar Technology for Automotive Applications”

Abstract TBD

Bob Sletten is an engineering manager of a team of engineers and designers at Autoliv, a Swedish–American company that develops and manufactures automotive safety systems for all major automotive manufacturers in the world. Bob possesses 10+ years of managing central service engineering departments, and possesses technical expertise in thermal testing and analysis down to the component level, electronics packaging (environmental testing – temperature, vibration, shock, rain, etc.), materials and manufacturing, electronic test gear operation, and radio Frequency passive components. Bob holds a BS degree in Applied Physics (with supplementary coursework in Mechanical Engineering) from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, as well as graduate coursework in Electrical Engineering.

Lecture 4: “Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks: Interplay of Safety, Communications, Personalization, and Privacy”

This lecture consists of three parts.

  • Part 1: Interplay of Communications and Safety in VANETs
    After a brief review of vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs), we discuss the application-oriented design of VANETs for safety applications.  In particular, we provide an analytical framework for VANET safety application design during both sparse and dense vehicular traffic conditions. We derive the optimal MAC parameters that satisfy the safety requirements of the system.
  • Part 2: Customizing VANETs to Individual Drivers and Traffic Conditions
    We discuss adapting the technology to individual drivers and their environments so that it can be seamlessly integrated into road traffic and achieve its full potential. To accomplish this objective, we can use the technology to collect driver performance data and subsequently learn driver characteristics and driving strategies. The above information along with driver’s self-identified preferences can be used to customize the technology to each driver. With this, it is possible to adapt warnings or automatic control strategies to the driver to achieve harmony between man and machine. Meanwhile, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication can be dynamically tuned to make efficient use of finite bandwidth and guarantee the transmission of information critical to safety.  It is shown that by proper adaptation of wireless communication and warning algorithms, we can potentially reduce accident fatalities by a considerable amount.
  • Part 3: Privacy in VANETs and Other IoT Applications
    Generally speaking, smart cities, connected vehicles, smart homes, and connected healthcare devices are examples of how the Internet of Things (IoT) will revolutionize our lives in the decades ahead.  However, the potential loss of privacy is a significant threat to IoT penetration. This leads to a great challenge: IoT devices will be generating an astounding amount of data every second in the near future, and, even if privacy-protecting mechanisms are employed, significant privacy leaks can occur due to the sheer amount of data generated and powerful statistical inference techniques available to the potential adversaries.
    In this part of the lecture, we present a unifying framework to understand the fundamental underpinnings of IoT privacy and discuss an approach to achieve provable privacy, i.e., a way to guarantee privacy. The main idea is a large class of IoT privacy problems can be modeled mathematically as matching and de-noising time-series data. Using this setting, we define information-theoretic measures of privacy and characterize necessary conditions to achieve perfect privacy, a concept that is rigorously defined. A key advantage of this approach, especially in the face of recent advances in algorithms and computation, is that it can achieve provable privacy, i.e., no algorithm can break the privacy of the user.

Pishro-Nik_picHossein Pishro-Nik is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He received a B.S. degree from Sharif University of Technology, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, all in electrical and computer engineering. His research interests include information and coding theory, stochastic analysis of wireless networks, and vehicular communications.  He has received an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, an Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from UMass, and an Outstanding Graduate Research Award from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Lecture 5: “Model-Based Design of Connected Autonomous Vehicles”

Model-based design (MBD) makes use of computational models of systems under design that are developed, optimized and checked against correctness specifications throughout the design cycle. This approach lets system designers explore their design space, perfect their designs, and find and fix mistakes, all before any prototypes are built or the actual systems are deployed, thereby saving money and shortening the development lead times. Connected autonomous vehicles have computational elements deeply embedded in physical environment communicate and collaborate over communication networks. The very nature of such ‘cyber-physical’ systems necessitates that the physical dynamics, software, control, and communication networking must interoperate correctly for correct functioning of the systems. The sheer complexity of the domain presents unique challenges that must be addressed.
We begin this lecture by studying some theoretical foundations for addressing the heterogeneity in the MBD of connected autonomous vehicles. Such heterogeneity arises from different modeling formalisms and analysis techniques that are typically used for studying the underlying physics, the control design, the communication networks and protocols, the software logic, etc. that interoperate and must work together towards the correct operation of the system. We then summarize the recent successes of the MBD approach as exemplified by the recently concluded CAT Vehicle Challenge student competition and some new software functionality being developed for designing such systems. Finally, we conclude the lecture by surveying the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us for making connected autonomous vehicles a reality.

akshayAkshay Rajhans is a Senior Research Scientist at the Mathworks focusing on cyber-physical systems (CPS). Previous to this role, at MathWorks, Dr. Rajhans used to be a software engineer working on core semantics of Simulink. Dr. Rajhans worked at Cummins India Limited on the development and application engineering of electronic control systems for diesel-engine applications. As an intern at Bosch Research and Technology Center in Pittsburgh, Dr. Rajhans developed a model-based approach to non-intrusive load monitoring. Dr. Rajhans has a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University advised by Prof. Bruce Krogh, and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania advised by Prof. George Pappas. Dr. Rajhans’s academic research in graduate school was in the CPS domain, particularly their mathematical representations called hybrid systems, the use of software architecture principles towards CPS design and disciplined engineering, and the use of formal methods for providing system-level guarantees.

Lecture 6: “Vehicular Connectivity 101”

This lecture provides the fundamental concepts for understanding, designing, and implementing vehicular communication systems.  Starting with an overview of the vehicular wireless transmission medium and how it is modeled, the lecture continues with a description of the IEEE 802.11p and IEEE 1609 standards for supporting vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I)  communications.  An introduction on how Fifth Generation (5G) will potentially be employed in a vehicular environment will follow before concluding this lecture with practical issues such as wireless spectrum availability and vehicular wireless interoperability.

awygAlexander M. Wyglinski is internationally recognized as an expert in the field of wireless communications, cognitive radio, connected vehicles, software-defined radio, dynamic spectrum access, electromagnetic security, vehicular technology, wireless system optimization and adaptation, autonomous vehicles, and cyber-physical systems. Dr. Wyglinski is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an Associate Professor of Robotics Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, USA, as well as the Director of the Wireless Innovation Laboratory (WI Lab). Dr. Wyglinski is very active in the technical community, serving on the organizing committees of numerous technical conferences and several journal editorial boards. These activities include serving as the General Co-Chair for both the 2013 IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference and the 82nd IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference in Fall 2015. Dr. Wyglinski’s editorial board commitments currently include the IEEE Communications Magazine, as well as previously included the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and IEEE Transactions on Communications. In January 2016, Dr. Wyglinski became President-Elect of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society, an applications-oriented society of approximately 4200 members that focuses on the theoretical, experimental and operational aspects of electrical and electronics engineering in mobile radio, motor vehicles and land transportation. Throughout his academic career, Dr. Wyglinski has published approximately 40 journal papers, over 80 conference papers, nine book chapters, and two textbooks. He is currently being or has been sponsored by organizations such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Naval Research Laboratory, the MITRE Corporation, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate, The MathWorks, Toyota InfoTechnology Center U.S.A., and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Wyglinski is a Senior Member of the IEEE, as well as a member of Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu, and the ASEE.