The Autonomous Driving Lab of University of Tartu conducts research and development in the field of self-driving technologies. The lab focuses primarily on the software side of self-driving vehicles, rather than on the development or testing of hardware (e.g. sensors). The Institute of Computer Science and the Institute of Technology of the University of Tartu are both involved in the activities of the lab by contributing to research and study in the following areas:
The Autonomous Driving Lab aims for experimental research and development with the help of freeware technologies and mapping applications. In the lab, it is being analysed how technological solutions developed in the world are suitable for use on self-driving cars in Estonia, development needs are mapped and new technology is further developed on the basis of previous solutions.
In order for self-driving vehicles to become part of everyday use, a supportive environment must be created, which is why the lab also deals with the social and legal aspects of self-driving technology. In order to implement the solutions, it is necessary to examine, among other things, whether self-driving technology is acceptable and safe for people and whether it’s seen as added value in the society. It is also important to have a say in legislation and develop the necessary infrastructure so people will have the opportunity to use innovative modes of mobility.
In addition to research and development, it is also important to educate future specialists. Students can take courses on autonomous driving technologies and be involved in the work of the lab. To support the field, the Institute of Computer Science of the University of Tartu teaches the following subjects:
Furthermore, an international Master’s programme Smart Mobility Data Science and Analytics is being prepared with the support of EIT Urban Mobility to be opened in autumn 2021.
The Autonomous Driving Lab is located at the University of Tartu Delta Centre and also includes the test car Lexus RX 450h, which is essentially a technology development platform that is used for research and development in several fields of self-driving technology.
The test car is equipped with world-class self-driving technologies and numerous sensors that will help the car to drive independently in the future. The set includes:
The goal of the Autonomous Driving Lab, which was started in collaboration with Bolt, is to bring together under the same roof various activities related to the development of self-driving technologies both within the university and with external partners.
In cooperation with TRAFFEST, we are developing a vehicle-infrastructure communication solution for transmitting traffic lights to a self-driving car. A pilot project is currently underway in the city centre of Tartu with nine traffic lights connected to the system.
Head of Industry Collaboration at the Institute of Computer Science
Research directions: human-vehicle interaction
E-mail: anne.jaager [ät] ut.ee
Research directions: deep reinforcement learning
E-mail: tambet.matiisen [ät] ut.ee
Research directions: machine learning, deep neural networks, safety in machine learning systems
E-mail: meelis.kull [ät] ut.ee
Research directions: human-robot interaction, applied robotics, human-machine collaboration, intuitive robotics
E-mail: karl.kruusamae [ät] ut.ee
Principal Investigator for Collaborative Robotics and Robotic Computing Group of University of Tartu
Research directions: motion planning, feedback control, learning based control, optimization for robotics, planning and control under uncertainty
E-mail: arun.singh [ät] ut.ee
Research directions: security and privacy of information, security risk management, model-driven security
E-mail: raimundas.matulevicius [ät] ut.ee
Research directions: data mining, intelligent transportation systems, road traffic management, mobility tracking and location, distributed systems, GIS information systems
E-mail: amnir.hadachi [ät] ut.ee
Research directions: behaviour modeling and prediction, autonomous navigation, robotics
E-mail: naveed.muhammad [ät] ut.ee
Research directions: human-computer interaction, information systems
E-mail: alexander.nolte [ät] ut.ee
Research directions: machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence
E-mail: dmytro.fishman [ät] ut.ee
Collaboration with Bolt to develop the Autonomous Driving Lab for applied research in Level 4 autonomy technology began in the spring of 2019. The project has also received support from Archimedes' smart specialisation programme. The aim of the project is to conduct applied research on autonomous control technologies by setting up the Autonomous Driving Lab to assess the level of current technologies based on a vehicle with a level of 2.5 autonomy and to explore technological possibilities for achieving level 4 through practical laboratory experiments. Six research groups from the Institute of Computer Science and Institute of Technology of the University of Tartu are involved in this project.
Collaboration with Milrem Robotics started in October 2018 within the framework of a project supported through the NUTIKAS support measure. Three research groups from the University of Tartu and four research groups from Tallinn University of Technology are involved in the project. The role of the Autonomous Driving Lab in the project was to implement a perception module, which identifies obstacles, especially people, and classifies the surface, whether it is navigable or not. During two years, eight students have found application in the project, four master's theses, one bachelor's thesis and three course projects have been defended.