Newly created chair & appointment of Professor ‘ Intelligent Vehicles’ at the faculty of 3mE of TU Delft

News - 21 March 2016 - Transport Institute

As of April 1st, the newly created chair ‘Intelligent Vehicles’ will start at the faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE) of the TU Delft. For this new chair an expert in the field is appointed, professor Dariu M. Gavrila. Over the past two decades, Prof. D. M. Gavrila has worked on perception systems for detecting humans and their activity, with application to intelligent vehicles, smart surveillance and social robotics. Among others, he led the multi-year pedestrian detection research effort at Daimler which was incorporated in the Mercedes-Benz S-, E-, and C-Class models (2013-2014).

Prof. D. M. Gavrila brings in nearly 20 years of R&D experience from the German automotive industry. He joins existing expertise at the TU Delft in the area of intelligent transportation and automotive at the faculty 3mE , CiTG (Civil Engineering and Geosciences), and EWI (Mathematics and Computer Science Faculties). He will give new impulses to the Dutch Automated Vehicle Initiative (DAVI), founded by the TU Delft. In the education program, Prof. Gavrila will guide and further develop the "Vehicle Engineering" track within the Master program for Mechanical Engineering.

The mission of the ‘Intelligent Vehicles’ chair is to stimulate the advanced automation in vehicles, for the purpose of a greater safety, comfort and sustainability of transportation. The chair will focus on vehicle environment perception and modelling (i.e. sensing, sensor fusion, vehicle localization and mapping, situation analysis) and on the intelligent machine interaction with humans. These areas are critical for future highly- and fully-automated vehicles but still face significant research challenges, in particular in complex and unstructured urban environments, and when dealing with so-called „Vulnerable Road Users" e.g. pedestrians and cyclists.


Dariu M. Gavrila achieved a MSc degree in Computer Science at the VU University Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) in 1990. In 1996, he achieved a PhD degree in Computer Science at the University of Maryland at College Park, USA, in 1996. Since 1997, he has been with Daimler R&D in Ulm, Germany, where he is currently a Distinguished Scientist. In 2003, he was also appointed professor in the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam, chairing the area of Intelligent Perception Systems (part time). Prof. D. M. Gavrila published 50+ papers in top-tier conferences and journals, and is frequently cited in his domain (Google Scholar: about 10.000 times). He served as Area Chair at previous IV, ICCV, AVSS, and DAGM conferences; he is currently Program Co-Chair for the upcoming IEEE Intelligent Vehicles (IV) 2016 conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. He delivered keynotes at previous IV, ICVS, AVSS, CAIP and ÖAGM conferences.

For the societal impact of his research, Prof. D. M. Gavrila received the I/O 2007 Award from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Application Award 2014 (the latter as part of a Daimler team). He has had regular appearances in the German/Dutch broadcast and print media.

Self-driving vehicles


The automotive field is in the midst of a transformation. Smart sensing, fast on-board processing, big data and novel machine learning algorithms are the ingredients for a rapidly improving machine intelligence. This has led to driver assistance systems on the market which automate several aspects of highway driving. In addition, several publicized projects for fully self-driving cars at lower speeds are ongoing, developed by the traditional automotive industry and newcomers from the Hi-Tech sector. Self-driving vehicles, in the context of car sharing or public transportation, have the potential to change the face of urban mobility.


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