Automation helps transportation, says IEEE vehicle electronics expert

Control Engineering China interviews Lingxi Li, assistant professor at the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Indiana University-Purdue University, also chairman of IEEE vehicular electronics and safety conferences. Sensing, wireless, and other control technologies are improving transportation.


Control Engineering China interviews Lingxi Li, assistant professor at the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, Ind. Li was the chairman of IEEE vehicular electronics and safety conferences in 2010 and 2011. Sensing and control technologies are improving transportation.

Control Engineering China (CEC): As a type of public service system, how does the intelligent transportation system achieve integration and information exchange with other public information systems in cities? And how is it developing?

Lingxi Li: The intelligent transportation system has a close relationship with other public information systems. Intelligent transportation is a multidisciplinary research area and covers a variety of research topics including transport safety, driver assistance systems, active safety systems, traffic control systems, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, intelligent vehicles, and many others. In general, the intelligent transportation system uses sensing and communication technologies to integrate live information and feedback from the surrounding environment to make decisions and/or take actions. For instance, an intelligent traffic controller phases green lights adaptively from live traffic information obtained through inductive loops and video cameras; a driver assistance system picks up the optimal route based on real traffic data; and active safety systems provide warning signals and apply brakes based on radar and camera information when they determine the driver is not aware of a potential collision. The research areas mentioned above are being investigated extensively, and many commercialized products have already appeared in the market or are being developed.

CEC: In intelligent transportation, are there any technical blind spots or fields that still need to be improved through technical industrialization? What are they?

A: There are still some fields that need to be improved through technical industrialization. Some examples include active safety systems, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. Some of the key technologies for the development of such systems might be available now. Implementation issues associated with such systems usually involve costs, driver feedback, and other human factors.

CEC: Will the future of intelligent transportation develop from automatic navigation to automatic drive, and then to unmanned drive?

A: This is the ideal future of intelligent transportation. To achieve this goal, there is still a long way to go. We need to keep developing new technologies and investigating how to integrate them intelligently to best serve our needs.

CEC: Please list the three most influential technologies in electronics, control, and information from the Internet of Things and intelligent transportation.

A: Sensors and actuators, wireless communications, and computational technologies.

About Li: Professor Lingxi Li received his bachelor’s degree from the Department of Automation, Tsinghua University, in 2000; his master’s degree from the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2003; and his doctorate from the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in 2008. Since 2008, he has been working as an assistant professor at the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Professor Li’s research areas include intelligent transportation systems, intelligent vehicles, vehicle active safety, driving simulation systems, discrete event systems, error diagnosis and detection, and others. Professor Li also serves as the associate editor of IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems, and was the chairman of both the IEEE International Conference on Vehicular Electronics and Safety in 2010 and the IEEE International Conference on Vehicular Electronics and Safety in 2011. 

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This is part of the December Control Engineering North American edition Control Engineering International page.

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