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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Creating Autonomous Vehicles and Travel Advisors That Are Risk-Aware

Brian C. Williams, PhD
Bisplinghoff Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

From flying taxis to delivery robots to micromobility—think shared bikes and scooters—transportation is evolving fast. How people and goods move will look starkly different in just a few years. American ingenuity is once again transforming how we travel and how we connect commerce. Our New Mobility Future will explore the promise and pitfalls of our new mobility future—and to discuss how we’re going to get there.

Brian C. Williams, PhD: Bisplinghoff Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, delivered a talk as part of Our New Mobility Future on Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 12 p.m. (ET).

Brian WilliamsAbout the Speaker

Brian Williams, PhD, is the Bisplinghoff Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the Model-based Embedded and Robotic Systems group.  He is also a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and a Visiting Researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. At NASA Ames he formed the Autonomous Systems area, co-invented the Remote Agent autonomous control system, and co-led the flight demonstration of the Livingstone fault management and Remote Agent systems on NASA’s Deep Space One Asteroid/Comet flyby mission. He was a member of the Tom Young Blue-Ribbon Team in 2000, assessing future Mars missions in light of the Mars Climate Orbiter and Polar Lander incidents, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech. He also served as President of the Executive Council of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling and as an Executive Councilor for the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Williams' research concentrates on model-based autonomy—the  creation of long-lived autonomous systems that are able to explore, command, diagnose and repair themselves using fast, online reasoning. Deployments include deep sea and deep space explorers, risk-aware autonomous cars, manufacturing robots, connected sustainable homes and network security.  Current research focuses on risk-aware systems, whose actions are guaranteed to operate within user specified risk bounds, model-based programming languages for guiding autonomous systems in terms of goals, and multi-robot and human / robot collaboration, including dialogue-based systems that enable humans and robots to refine goals and cooperate on tasks.

News and Video

Read the news story and watch video highlights from this event.