Logo: University of Southern California

Petros Ioannou Recognized for Smart Vehicle Research

Cars automatically keep their distance in traffic without having to intercommunicate
Eric Mankin
April 07, 2009 —

The Hsieh Department professor who directs the Viterbi School Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies (CATT) and is Associate Director for Research of METRANS has received the IEEE Intelligent Transportation System Society Best Practice Award.

Petros Ioannou
The award honors Petros Ioannou's pioneering work on now widely used "adaptive cruise control" systems. In the early 90s, his research group was the first to show that it is possible to have stable and robust automatic vehicle following without requiring vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

The result attracted the attention of the Ford Motor Company, which funded further research, and performed joint vehicle experiments eventually hiring three of Ioannou's Ph.D. students.

The California Department of Transportation and PATH also supported his work and subsequent experiments  with vehicles and trucks at various testing grounds and on highway I-15 North of San Diego.

Other car companies adopted similar systems for their high-end cars, marketing them under different names.  Because the companies have developed proprietary versions, relatively few peer-reviewed publications have come out about the research.

More informaiton about adaptive cruise control can be found in a report, "Evaluation of the Effects of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) vehicles in mixed traffic,"  and in the included references that can be read on the CATT website.

The Best Engineer Practice award is given annually to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) engineers and teams who have developed  and deployed successful ITS Systems or implementations. The award is established to recognize, promote, and publicize major innovations with real world impact.

Ioannou is a Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of the International Federation on Automatic Control (IFAC), and author/co author of 8 books and more than 200 publications in the area of Controls and Intelligent Transportation Systems. In the past he received an IEEE Control Society Best paper and the 1985 Presidential Young Investigator Awards.