Rickard Nyberg has received a scholarship from Per Bengtssons stiftelse, to continue his work on driverless cars. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Improves conditions for driverless cars

Published: 8 April 2014

Rickard Nyberg, who recently graduated fron the Master Programme in Mechanical engineering, has been awarded a scholarship from Per Bengtssons stiftelse. Now he'll be engaged in at half year long project to improve the control system of driverless cars.

Rickard Nyberg has recently taken his degree in Mechanical Engineering at Luleå University of Technology. During his education, he became interested in control systems and therefore made his exam thesis in automatic control .

– I have always been interested in robots and machines that can do things by themselves. In my thesis, I developed a car that can navigate by itself in unfamiliar surroundings, says Rickard Nyberg.

Swerves for obstacles

A Kinect camera is installed on the car. The camera tells helps the car to find out distance to and height of the obstacles. Using that information, the car decides whether or not it can handle the obstacles, hence if it tackles or avoid them. As a method of navigation, Rickard Nyberg has used so-called potential fields.

– The work has mainly been about developing programming and improve imaging .

Meanwhile he did his thesis he heard that there was research beeing carried out on driverless cars in the research field of Automatic control. Thanks to SEK 100 000 from Per Bengtssons stiftelse, he can now spend six months in a project related to driverless cars.

Driverless cars without human involvement

When commands are sent to a driverless car a wireless network is used. That often result in time delays and data losses. Today, unmanned vehicles are remotely controlled by a person, a person who through experience has learned to fend off these problems.

– I'll look at how to modify the control system to reduce time delays and data losses. The idea is to make the vehicle less dependent on one individual, says Rickard Nyberg.

Per Bengtssons stiftelse has as its purpose to promote and support research and education at Luleå University of Technology on the use of computers in engineering systems. The scholarship aims for students and graduate students at the university.