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European Research Council announced 1.5 million Euro support for the driverless vehicle safety project



Dr. from Koç University Computer Engineering Department. Instructor Member Fatma Güney’s project “ENSURE: Predictions Preventing Accidents with the Guidance of Possible Outcomes” was entitled to receive a grant worth 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC). Dr. Fatma Güney’s promising project for autonomous driving aims to bring the reasoning capacity of driverless vehicles closer to real-life scenarios by taking advantage of developments in artificial intelligence. The project not only interprets the unexpected variables of the outside world in autonomous driving vehicles, but also enables the vehicle to leave control to the human driver in dangerous situations by simultaneously correcting possible errors in its own system.

Dr. from Koç University Computer Engineering Department. Fatma Güney was entitled to receive a Starting Grant worth 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) with her project titled “ENSURE: Predictions Preventing Accidents with the Guidance of Possible Outcomes”.

ERC’s Startup Support is provided for independent research projects of researchers who have 2-7 years of postdoctoral experience and whose scientific work is very promising. Dr. carries out his academic studies at Koç University İş Bankası Artificial Intelligence Application and Research Center. Fatma Güney’s project is promising for the future of driverless vehicles, which have the potential to benefit many areas such as accessibility, fuel efficiency, time saving and ecology.

The ENSURE project, which aims to provide reasoning capacity to driverless vehicles by predicting possible futures with a margin of error, will contribute to the safe spread of autonomous driving, which has a limited application area today.

ENSURE aims for the autonomous vehicle to continue learning the dynamics of the real world without interruption and to take into account both its own mistakes and the rare possibilities surrounding it when making decisions. Seeing which possibilities the autonomous vehicle makes decisions by considering while moving will be a solution to a critical deficiency in this field by increasing the reliability and understandability of this technology by people.

The ENSURE project is based on a “world model” that will enable the driverless vehicle to accurately calculate the possibilities that exist in the real world. Current solutions in this field offer instant solutions rather than presenting plans that calculate future scenarios in detail. This situation, which brings with it a serious security problem, is one of the biggest obstacles to the widespread use of autonomous vehicles. Dr. Fatma Güney’s project aims to control not only the possibilities in the outside world but also the errors in the vehicle’s own system. The proposed method allows the vehicle to quickly hand over control to the driver in dangerous situations that have not yet been calculated and may exceed the limits of the solution, such as a wild animal jumping in front of the vehicle. Thus, in possible situations that the vehicle predicts that it cannot cope with, control passes back to the human.

The project, which prioritizes human safety rather than the commercial potential of driverless vehicles, which can pose a great danger with current immature solutions, will continue for 5 years and will continue for 5 years and will be led by Dr. It will be performed by Güney and his team.

ENSURE, one of the 400 projects selected from 2696 applications this year, was awarded 1.5 million Euros by the ERC. Of the 49 ERC supports coming to Turkey, 27 are provided by Koç University Faculty Members. 19 of these projects received main project support and 8 received Proof of Concept support with additional ERC support for commercialization purposes. To date, 17 of the projects that have received ERC support at Koç University consist of research in engineering, 7 in social sciences and 3 in the field of molecular biology and genetics.

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