No walls in sight – AutoSens Detroit puts automotive engineering discussion first at popular US event

350+ engineers and technologists joined AutoSens for 4-day US debut – the leading conference for the discussion of vehicle perception technology – during May 22-25, 2017 at the M1 Concourse near Detroit, MI, USA

Bringing together of the most forward-thinking minds in the industry; this was a week of discussions, collaborations, debates, business meetings, interactive learning, autonomous driving demonstrations and technology showcase.


The 4-day long event began with the official IEEE Standards Association Working Group on Automotive System Image Quality - P2020, for the third official face-to-face meeting. The project took further shape with particular progress reported on addressing LED flicker, as well as defining a set of use cases and KPIs applicable specifically to automotive imaging. . This working group continues to see strong support with participants from companies including Daimler, Ford, GM, IAV, Imatest, Intel, Jaguar Land Rover, LG, Magna, OmniVision, ON Semiconductor, Panasonic, PSA, Robert Bosch, Samsung, Sony, Valeo, and many more.

"Top notch opportunity to mix and interact with the leading sensing community, expanding depth of knowledge, and driving industry standards (IEEE P2020) in a very friendly and inclusive environment. Great event and can't wait for Brussels!" Dave Tokic, VP Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Algolux

Day two (Tuesday May 23) saw an afternoon packed full of activities, including three expert-led workshops discussing Human Factors Considerations in the Design of Self-driving Vehicles (led by Michael A. Nees, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Lafayette College); Requirements Management Best Practices: Collaborative Approaches to Improving Traceability and Compliance (led by Cary Bryczek, Principal Solutions Architect, Jama Software); and How to Integrate Mapping & Geolocation Technology into Vehicle Perception (led by Sravan Puttagunta, Civil Maps). Each workshop provided an extended learning experience, addressing issues of high relevance to the autonomous vehicle community.

Meanwhile on the track, delegates saw driverless vehicles being demoed by Dataspeed, the world leader in adapting mass-production vehicles to autonomous functionality. More than 100 attendees registered and were given the opportunity to do a lap of the circuit, driven by Dataspeed's driverless R&D-platform equipped cars. Engineers developing these technologies were on-hand to provide detailed explanations about how they worked. Connecting theory with the real-world application is always difficult to achieve in a technical conference environment, but by bringing both elements together at the M1 Concourse, participants heard the latest technical developments and insight into the world of autonomous vehicles, while putting that into context by experiencing the technology in action in the demos. The afternoon concluded with drinks and nibbles for all involved.

"It was a great opportunity to meet new people in the connectivity world domain and get to know where we are heading in this field." Hassan Issa, Autonomous Vehicle Feature Val & Ver, General Motors

Day three saw the start of the main AutoSens conference and exhibition. More than 250 engineers and research managers working on vehicle perception joined the event to hear from the trail-blazers in this exciting space. The AutoSens agenda got right to the heart of the challenges facing vision system engineers of today and tomorrow. The conference was geared to not provide insight and generate discussion, but also to propose solutions for shared challenges in ADAS and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies. Recognising the challenges faced by the supply chain to develop and deliver new technologies to mass-market, the event's Advisory Board, made up of senior experts and engineers from OEMs, Tier 1s and Tier 2s, worked carefully to ensure a meeting agenda which tackled a variety of topics relevant to professionals in the vehicle perception sector. Highlights on the agenda included;

Rudy Burger, Managing Partner at Woodside Capital Partners discussing the changing dynamics in the autonomous vehicle space.
Dr Marc Geese, Chassis Systems Control, Hardware Optics at Robert Bosch detailing image quality and safety in automotive video applications
Norman Koren, CTO at Imatest provided his vision for the challenges in automotive image quality testing
"AutoSens is an ideal place for those working on vehicle perception technology to discuss potential challenges and opportunities, and gain a clearer understanding as to what is taking place industry-wide." Carl Anthony, Managing Editor, Automoblog

The exhibition hall at AutoSens was an opportunity for open discussions with those at the very heart of the industry, all the top suppliers were available to provide in-depth knowledge and demonstrations of their latest offerings. There was also a vehicle showcase in the main hall, courtesy of Renesas. Sponsors included; Sunex, ST Microelectronics, Cadence, Texas Instruments, Cogent Embedded, GEO Semi, Image Engineering, Innoviz, Dataspeed, Imatest, CEVA, XenomatiX, MightAI, Kalray, Lasphere, SensL, TetraVue and ONSemiconductor.

"The best chance to get in touch with suppliers and learn about new technology." Jürgen Dörflinger, Daimler

At the end of day one, all attendees were invited for a Grand Evening Reception at the Greenfield Village, part of the world-famous Henry Ford Museum. The event consisted of tours around the village on Ford Model T's as well as fully autonomous vehicles too. Dinner and drinks were provided, alongside carousel rides, and great conversations with friends old and new.

"This was a fabulous, targeted conference with the right level of engineering and technology talks." Jane Opgaard, EVP Operations, SpiralGen, Inc.

The final day concluded on Thursday May 25, with another full day of topical deliberations, and though-provoking presentations. Highlights included;

Dr Riccardo Mariani, Fellow - Functional Safety at Intel outlining the application for ISO 26262 to ADAS and Automated Driving
Phil Magney, Founder of Vision Systems Intelligence generating conversation around the evolving sensor and processing ecosystem - perception, behaviour, and control stack
Carl Anthony, Managing Editor at Automoblog shared his insights on customer experiences of Driver Assistance - Are we designing robots for engineers or cars for customers?
The final day of presentations also welcomed start-up companies to the stage. Start-up representatives Hao Xin from Lunewave and Richard Baverstock from Mogol were given 3-minutes in front of the AutoSens audience to pitch their innovations and capture the attention of the crowd. Other start-ups including Mighty AI, XenomatiX and Innoviz Technologies took full exhibition stands, and Tetravue - while already several years old - chose AutoSens Detroit as their first event to attend after emerging from a long period in stealth mode.

In a bid to support the huge gender inequality problem in the automotive industry, organisers Sense Media offered 30 reduced 90%-off tickets for women working in automotive technology and engineering to attend. A small but important gesture to help improve balance of employment in our exciting sector. The delegation also heard some inspiring talks from key women taking the lead in automotive engineering, including;

Michelle (Xuehong) Mao, Principal Design Engineer at Cadence Design Systems, sharing her thoughts on what it will take to bring DNN to Embedded Applications
Mary Pagnutti, Owner at Innovative Imaging and Research, discussing how to improve Image Quality through Camera Radiometric Calibration
Overall, attendees and exhibitors were vocal in their enthusiasm for the AutoSens US debut, and looked forward to their attendance and involvement in 2018 when AutoSens returns to Michigan.

"At AutoSens I had a great opportunity to network and get to know future trends and current challenges of sensing within the automotive industry." Jens Preiss, System Engineer, Bosch

Can't wait until the 2018 edition? AutoSens will be returning to AutoWorld in Brussels from September 19-21. The Belgian edition continues to receive high levels of interest from attendees and exhibitors alike, particularly for the brand new AutoSens Awards (accepting nominations until Friday June 2), technical training workshops, conference sessions and the exhibition - where extra space has been booked for the increased levels of international interest. We hope to see you there. Super Early Bird tickets are available from now until 30 June and will save you €300 off your ticket to attend!

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