Automotive research team recognized for research excellence

The ARC works to solve a broad set of issues pertaining to the modeling and simulation of ground vehicle systems.

Researchers affiliated with the U-M Automotive Research Center (ARC) have been awarded the College of Engineering’s Ted Kennedy Family Faculty Team Excellence Award. Three EECS faculty were named among the 21 recipients: Profs. Ed Durfee, Heath Hofmann, and Necmiye Ozay. The center was recognized “for its world-wide recognized and transformative impact on research and education in the advancement of modeling and simulation of automotive and ground transportation systems.”

Research in the ARC addresses a broad set of issues pertaining to ground vehicle systems. It is a University-based U.S. Army Center of Excellence, representing the key basic research partner of the U.S. Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) in Warren, Michigan. Its projects are organized into five main thrusts: vehicle controls and behaviors, human-autonomy interaction, advanced structures and materials, intelligent power systems, and systems of systems and integration.

Contributions made by ARC researchers have significantly advanced autonomous ground vehicle design and operation through new algorithms and new fundamental modeling and simulation tools.  In its 5th phase that started in 2019, the ARC is focused on autonomous systems to provide dramatic new strengths and first-of-their-kind capabilities for US Army vehicles. Examples include the creation of multi-vehicle reconnaissance algorithms in an unknown environment, advanced AI-based algorithms for fleet operations and human-autonomy teaming that enable autonomous vehicle fleets to have higher mobility across the whole spectrum of autonomy levels, and high-performance methods and tools to develop and create bidirectional trust in human-autonomy teams.

Durfee is the principal investigator of ARC’s “Manned-Unmanned Teaming for Reconnaissance in Adversarial Environments” project. The goal of this project is to develop real-time decentralized planning algorithms for manned-unmanned teaming agents that are operating in complex and adversarial environments. It tackles the Department of Defense’s required effort towards developing and integrating autonomous systems into theater operations. The project began in 2019.

Hofmann is co-principal investigator of the “Novel Hybrid Electric Powertrains Enabled by Models of Electro-Magnetic-Structural Dynamics” project, along with Prof. Bogdan Epureanu (Mechanical Engineering). This project supports Army research efforts targeting vehicle electrification, development of low noise auxiliary power units, and high performance lightweight Army technology. This project provides modeling and simulation capabilities to address performance needs along with tools to enhance reliability in hybrid electric powertrains. The project began in 2017.

Ozay is principal investigator of the “Parameter Synthesis and Requirement Analysis for Cyber-Physical Control System Design” project. Ozay is developing a model-based approach to testing whether a system meets specifications. Through the use of mathematical models of the system dynamics and formal specifications capturing the different requirements and assumptions, the team can cut out extensive testing and late design errors. The project began in 2018.