AutoSens Detroit Conference Examines Vehicle Perception Technology

One of the hottest topics right now in the automotive universe is autonomous driving. It’s also one of the most misunderstood. Proponents believe the forthcoming technology holds much promise, citing how autonomous cars usher in everything from zero emissions to better infrastructure.

Grease knuckled gear heads and car enthusiasts feel their prized small block V8s, pavement twisting muscle cars, and short-throw manual transmissions are going the way of the dodo.

Today’s engineers are riding this delicate balance; challenged with keeping a given automobile’s performance benchmark in tact, while implementing the latest advanced driver assistance systems. This is where AutoSens plays a critical role. Their conference in Detroit, Michigan this May is dedicated to engineers in the field, working on these different applications.

Passion & Value

AutoSens Detroit will provide a wide range of educational, networking, and hands-on experiences with regard to engineering the modern advanced driver assistance system. According to Robert Stead, Managing Director, Sense Media, AutoSens was built on the vision of senior technical experts at automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. That vision is then delivered at the conference by passionate experts who believe a strong community dialogue is ultimately necessary for the success of the technology.

“What we want to create is a community catered to the engineers who are working on advanced driver assistance systems, and other solutions to autonomous vehicles that will be integrated over the coming years,” Stead explained.

Sense Media launched in 2015 and held the first AutoSens conference in Brussels, Belgium. Stead points to how the evolving autonomous landscape, from digital imaging technology to cameras and radar shaped AutoSens.

“I decided two years ago the best way to serve that community was to set up my own business and focus entirely on digital sensing as a whole,” he said. “We place great importance on keeping the discussion relevant to engineers, upholding technical standards, and adding value for attendees.”

AutoSens Detroit takes place at the M1 Concourse, May 22nd through the 25th. Organizers are leveraging their existing good relationships with Detroit-based companies to put together a thought-provoking and exciting event. For Stead, having an AutoSens conference in Detroit is even a little personal.

“I went on a holiday there with some friends and I was really inspired to hear the stories of regeneration in Detroit,” he said. “I am a techno and house music fan too, so we attended the Movement Festival.”

Sense Media Managing Director Robert Stead addresses those in attendance at AutoSens Belgium. Photo: Sense Media.

Collective Voices

The speakers at AutoSens Detroit are as diverse as they are distinguished. Collectively, the panel has experience in everything from robotics and computer vision, to automotive electronics, digital imaging, and functional safety. Each speaker was handpicked and selected carefully based on their contributions to advanced driver assistance systems, functional safety, autonomous driving, and their overall passion for the topics.

“It is important to have the right caliber of speakers and be covering the right topics in Detroit,” Stead said.

The AutoSens Detroit panel includes Todd Benoff, Partner, Products Liability Practice Group, Alston & Bird. Benoff will host a session on insurance and liability and what the ethical considerations are for autonomous cars. Filip Geuens, Chief Executive Officer, Xenomatix, will facilitate a session on affordable, effective LiDAR solutions backed by real-world autonomous tests. Other speakers include Rudy Burger, Managing Partner, Woodside Capital Partners, with a session on the ever changing dynamics in the autonomous vehicle landscape, and Paul Fleck, President of Dataspeed, with insights on how to build an autonomous vehicle.

“For engineers who are working in this space, it’s an opportunity to come and hear about some of the things that are happening,” Stead said. “AutoSens is meant to help them to understand what is going on in the wider industry.”

AutoSens roundtable discussion in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Sense Media.

Collaboration & Community

Indeed, the forthcoming autonomous era holds much promise, but right now we are still anticipating the many things that may (or may not) happen. Like a runner before the gun fires, we are poised and ready, having prepared long and hard for the finish line sprint. What we sometimes forget is how there are many others running alongside us. Your vision for the autonomous world may be remarkably similar to someone else in the field, but up until now, there was no way to meet them.

That’s the greatest value for those attending AutoSens, be it in Detroit or Brussels. It’s not simply a conference where you attend a couple of workshops, scribble down a few notes, and leave. AutoSens is about the community of people who share the same passion and drive for this bold, forthcoming autonomous generation. AutoSens brings us together so we can collectively implement the solutions necessary to welcome in what we all believe is a better era, not just for transportation, but society as a whole.

“The goal of all this technology is to improve safety,” Stead explained. “In order to do that, we need to have more conversations and collaboration, and what we have managed to create is an environment where that happens.”

AutoSens Detroit takes place at the M1 Concourse in Detroit, Michigan, May 22nd through the 25th. Automoblog readers receive a discount on their tickets through this special offer.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. 

About The Author

Carl represents automakers in their marketing and product development arms as a Vehicle Coach, Product Specialist, and Facilitator. He has worked with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Volvo, and Local Motors. Carl is the Immediate Past President of Detroit Working Writers and on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation. He enjoys a multitude of health and fitness activities and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

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