WPI to Host Connected & Autonomous Vehicles Summer School

Toyota and Mitsubishi leaders among speakers in program; inaugural event to underscore need for better understanding of driverless and connected cars
July 21, 2016

Professors Wyglinski, left, and Cowlagi


IEEE Vehicular Technology Society (VTS) Connected & Autonomous Vehicles Summer School


Thursday, July 28, and Friday, July 29, 2016


Fuller Laboratories, WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester


Alex Wyglinski, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Raghvendra Cowlagi, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering, will serve as co-organizers of the event.

In addition to Wyglinski and Cowlagi, technical discussions will be led by:

  • Kaushik Chowdhury, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, Northeastern University 
  • Onur Altintas, fellow, Research Division, Toyota InfoTechnology Center Co. Ltd., in Tokyo 
  • Jie Fu, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, WPI 
  • Stefano Di Cairano, senior principal member, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories

Additional Details

For the first time, an educational forum will be held for university faculty, graduate students, and industry practitioners focused on learning about the theory and application of connected and driverless vehicles. The objective of this summer school is to teach fundamental concepts that enable connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. Presentations will be made by world-renowned experts in both connected and autonomous vehicles.

The event will underscore the growing importance of autonomous and connected cars. "You can’t have autonomy without connectedness," said Wyglinski, who is also president-elect of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society.

Wyglinski says the purpose of the camp is two-fold: "We're trying to educate graduate students and faculty who want to get a view of the whole picture of connected and autonomous cars, and we’re trying to retrain engineers already working in industry and give them a sense of where the future lies," he said.

In holding the forum, WPI organizers also hope to cast light on some of the commonly held misperceptions about driverless and connected cars, namely that self-driving cars can handle all driver operations independent of other vehicles, and that there is a sufficient amount of wireless spectrum to support all connectivity that currently exists.

"The reality is, as we see an explosion of connected vehicles in the near future – especially once the U.S. government mandates that cars be connected by 2019 – we will have an insufficient number of wireless channels to support connectivity between all possible vehicles to enhance driver safety," said Wyglinski. "That should be concerning to everyone."

This inaugural event is sponsored by the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society Connected Vehicle Initiative (IEEE VTS CVI), The MathWorks, and the National Science Foundation.

For more information: Visit the IEEE VTS Connected & Autonomous Vehicles Summer School web page here. To read a Q&A with Wyglinski in the Daily Herd about connected and autonomous cars, click here.

For media interviews: Contact Andy Baron at 508-831-5916, ajbaron@wpi.edu; or Kerry O’Brien at 508-831-5937, kaobrien@wpi.edu.