Hayder Radha, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the director of CANVAS - Connected and Autonomous Networked Vehicles for Active Safety. He’s a leader on the MSU research team working to someday make self-driving vehicles not just a reality, but commonplace.

CANVAS is part of the larger MSU Mobility Studio initiative, consisting of CANVAS, smart infrastructure and mobility management of autonomous and conventional vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Working as part of the CANVAS project, the scientists are focusing much of their energy on key areas, including recognition and tracking objects such as pedestrians or other vehicles; fusion of data captured by radars and cameras; localization, mapping and advanced artificial intelligence algorithms that allow an autonomous vehicle to maneuver in its environment; and computer software to control the vehicle. 

Another important aspect of a future connected-and-autonomous vehicle is its ability to communicate with other vehicles and the infrastructure surrounding it. Such communications enable a car to detect other vehicles that are approaching an intersection and recognize whether the other vehicle is going to stop in time. 

Biometrics and recognition technology research at MSU will also be an invaluable part of an autonomous vehicle. The technology will monitor not only the identity but also the health and well-being of a vehicle’s occupants. If a vehicle occupant is unable to drive, the technology can detect that and pull the car over to the side of the road.