Autonomous Driving Discussions Peak In Detroit As AutoSens Returns


AutoSens, a global summit on autonomous driving, is underway in Detroit, Michigan. Following a successful outing at AutoSens Brussels, organizers have returned to the Motor City for the second time with a robust itinerary meant to facilitate discussions around the future of mobility. AutoSens covers nearly every aspect of autonomous driving, from the supply chain, infrastructure, and engineering challenges, to legal, financial, and ethical considerations.

Collaboration & Creativity

Attendees, speakers, sponsors, and participants will actively leverage each other’s expertise during the week-long event, which takes aim at the biggest challenges facing autonomous cars. Collaboration and creativity are the central themes of AutoSens, whereby professionals in the field are encouraged to share ideas and devise solutions to the obstacles facing autonomous driving.

“AutoSens, in short, is a global engineering forum for the people who work on vehicle perception systems,” explained Robert Stead, Managing Director, Sense Media, the parent company of AutoSens. “That might be designing a component, coding software algorithms, deciding on how to build a complete system, quality assurance, testing or any number of other functions important in developing efficient, affordable, and reliable systems to the high standards demanded by the auto industry.”

Photo: Alex Hartman for Sense Media.

Live Demonstrations

The first day – Tuesday May 15th – saw numerous autonomous vehicle demonstrations at Wayne State University. Attendees were able to ride in three different autonomous vehicles, from three different companies: a Lincoln MKZ outfitted with self-driving technology from Autonomous Stuff, a Chrysler Pacifica equipped with a special kit from Dataspeed, and a modified Tesla from Vision Systems Intelligence.

The demonstrations are a hallmark of AutoSens, both in Detroit and Brussels, and remain a favorite for attendees.

“It was a steady flow of people all day,” Stead said. “The Dataspeed and Autonomous Stuff cars were doing autonomous laps of the track using their high-resolution GPS and inertia measurement systems, and the Vision Systems Intelligence Tesla was doing rides on the road and showing off the kit inside.”

Fresh & Focused

On Wednesday and Thursday, May 16th and 17th, expert speakers will take the stage while panel discussions both days will cover a range of topics from safety and privacy to technical innovations. Speakers include representatives from Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and Jaguar Land Rover, and major suppliers like Bosch, Valeo, and Magna. Representatives from MIT, Carnegie Mellon, University of Washington, and the University of Michigan are also scheduled to speak.

“There will be fresh, cutting edge technical information,” Stead said. “It’s all about the engineering and having good, quality technical presentations that add to the science behind autonomous driving.”

Although networking is a major aspect of AutoSens, the event is not a trade show and organizers are keen to keep it that way.

“We want to show what the actual status quo is in the development of advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicle technology,” Stead explained. “There is no hype, no marketing speak; it’s all about understanding the real challenges the engineers developing the systems are facing today.”

Photo: Alex Hartman for Sense Media.

Community Aspects

AutoSens is geared toward the engineering and technical communities, but one doesn’t necessarily have to be an engineer. Professionals in other fields who have clients in the automotive industry should consider AutoSens, and those in the car business, from the big city boardroom to the small town dealership, can benefit by attending.

“It’s a community and what AutoSens does is bring that community together twice a year, here in Detroit and in September in Brussels,” Stead said “We see a lot of the same faces coming back – it’s kind of like seeing the family twice a year – but it is growing and there are new people coming too.”

Location & Tickets

AutoSens runs now through May 17th at the Michigan Science Center near the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Tickets for AutoSens Detroit, including discount packages for females in the engineering community, are available now. The event’s full agenda can be found here.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.



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