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A System Controlling Road Active Noise to Hit the Road
The research team led by Professor Youngjin Park of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed a road noise active noise control (RANC) system to be commercialized in partnership with Hyundai Motor Group. On December 11, Hyundai Motor Group announced the successful development of the RANC system, which significantly reduces the road noise flowing into cars. The carmaker has completed the domestic and American patent applications for the location of sensors and the signal selection method, the core technology of RANC. RANC is a technology for reducing road noise during driving. This system consists of an acceleration sensor, digital signal processor (the control computer to analyze sound signals), microphone, amplifier, and audio system. To make the system as simple as possible, the audio system utilizes the original audio system embedded in the car instead of a separate system. The acceleration sensor first calculates the vibration from the road into the car. The location of the sensor is important for accurately identifying the vibration path. The research team was able to find the optimal sensor location through a number of tests. The System Dynamics and Applied Control Laboratory of Professor Park researched ways to significantly reduce road noise with Hyundai Motor Group for four years from 1993 as a G7 national project and published the results in international journals. In 2002, the researchers published an article titled “Noise Quietens Driving” in Nature, where they announced the first success in reducing road noise in actual cars. The achievement did not lead to commercialization, however, due to the lack of auxiliary technologies at the time, digital amplifiers and DSP for cars for example, and pricing issues. Since 2013, Professor Park’s research team has participated in one technology transfer and eight university-industry projects. Based on these efforts, the team was able to successfully develop the RANC system with domestic technology in partnership with Hyundai’s NVH Research Lab (Research Fellow, Dr. Gangdeok Lee; Ph.D. in aviation engineering, 1996), Optomech (Founder, Professor Gyeongsu Kim; Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, 1999), ARE (CEO Hyeonseok Kim; Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, 1998), WeAcom, and BurnYoung. Professor Park’s team led the project by performing theory-based research during the commercialization stage in collaboration with Hyundai Motor Group. For the commercialization of the RANC system, Hyundai Motor Group is planning to collaborate with the global car audio company Harman to increase the degree of completion and apply the RANC system to the GV 80, the first SUV model of the Genesis brand. “I am very delighted as an engineer to see the research I worked on from my early days at KAIST be commercialized after 20 years,” noted Professor Park. “I am thrilled to make a contribution to such commercialization with my students in my lab.”
AI to Determine When to Intervene with Your Driving
(Professor Uichin Lee (left) and PhD candidate Auk Kim) Can your AI agent judge when to talk to you while you are driving? According to a KAIST research team, their in-vehicle conservation service technology will judge when it is appropriate to contact you to ensure your safety. Professor Uichin Lee from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at KAIST and his research team have developed AI technology that automatically detects safe moments for AI agents to provide conversation services to drivers. Their research focuses on solving the potential problems of distraction created by in-vehicle conversation services. If an AI agent talks to a driver at an inopportune moment, such as while making a turn, a car accident will be more likely to occur. In-vehicle conversation services need to be convenient as well as safe. However, the cognitive burden of multitasking negatively influences the quality of the service. Users tend to be more distracted during certain traffic conditions. To address this long-standing challenge of the in-vehicle conversation services, the team introduced a composite cognitive model that considers both safe driving and auditory-verbal service performance and used a machine-learning model for all collected data. The combination of these individual measures is able to determine the appropriate moments for conversation and most appropriate types of conversational services. For instance, in the case of delivering simple-context information, such as a weather forecast, driver safety alone would be the most appropriate consideration. Meanwhile, when delivering information that requires a driver response, such as a “Yes” or “No,” the combination of driver safety and auditory-verbal performance should be considered. The research team developed a prototype of an in-vehicle conversation service based on a navigation app that can be used in real driving environments. The app was also connected to the vehicle to collect in-vehicle OBD-II/CAN data, such as the steering wheel angle and brake pedal position, and mobility and environmental data such as the distance between successive cars and traffic flow. Using pseudo-conversation services, the research team collected a real-world driving dataset consisting of 1,388 interactions and sensor data from 29 drivers who interacted with AI conversational agents. Machine learning analysis based on the dataset demonstrated that the opportune moments for driver interruption could be correctly inferred with 87% accuracy. The safety enhancement technology developed by the team is expected to minimize driver distractions caused by in-vehicle conversation services. This technology can be directly applied to current in-vehicle systems that provide conversation services. It can also be extended and applied to the real-time detection of driver distraction problems caused by the use of a smartphone while driving. Professor Lee said, “In the near future, cars will proactively deliver various in-vehicle conversation services. This technology will certainly help vehicles interact with their drivers safely as it can fairly accurately determine when to provide conversation services using only basic sensor data generated by cars.” The researchers presented their findings at the ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp’19) in London, UK. This research was supported in part by Hyundai NGV and by the Next-Generation Information Computing Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT. (Figure: Visual description of safe enhancement technology for in-vehicle conversation services)
KAIST Partners with Technion and Hyundai Motors for Future Mobility Technology Development
(KAIST Associate Vice President of Research Joung-Ho Kim(third from left) poses with Technion President Pereta Lavie and CTO Tae Won Im of Hyundai Motors) KAIST has partnered with the Israel Institute of Technology, Technion, and Hyundai Motors to take the lead in the field of future mobility technologies. The three parties signed a consortium of global alliance for future mobility partnership at Technion on Sept. 5. KAIST Associate Vice President of Research Kim Joung-Ho, Hyundai Motor’s Central Advanced Research and Engineering CTO Tae Won Lim, and Technion President Peretz Lavie signed the MOU. The three parties agreed to conduct joint research on hi-tech mobility areas including self-driving systems, cyber security, and AI in mobility. With the signing of the consortium, KAIST's technology in AI, semiconductors, and autonomous cars will produce synergy with Technion’s connected car solutions, advancing Hyundai Motor's competitiveness in the future mobility market. In addition to the consortium, the three parties will set-up a startup consulting committee, which will provide consulting services for nurturing venture startups with creative ideas and outstanding technological prowess in their host countries.
KAIST wins second place in unmanned boat competition
KAIST took second place in an international competition to promote technologies of the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Professor Jin-hwan Kim’s research team from KAIST’s Ocean Systems Engineering Department won the second place in Maritime RobotX Challenge which took place for the first time from October 20 - 26 in Marina Bay, Singapore. Along with automobiles and drones, the necessity for unmanned boats has grown. To encourage and examine the development of these technologies, the U.S. Office of Naval Research decided to organize an unmanned boat competition which took place for the first time this year. After three teams were selected from a domestic competition in each countries, a total of fifteen teams from five countries from the Pacific Rim including Korea, the United States, Australia, Japan, and Singapore competed. Teams from such universities as MIT, Tokyo University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and Queensland University of Technology participated. In addition to KAIST, Seoul National University and Ulsan University participated. Using a 4.5 meters long and 2.5 meters wide unmanned boat provided by the organizer, each team had to implement an integrated system that combined a propulsion system, hardware, and autonomous software. Each team’s vessel had to perform tasks without manual control, employing autonomous driving through recognition of the course, searching underwater for acoustic sources, automatically approaching piers, remote observation of buoy, and avoidance and detection of obstacles. Although KAIST outpaced MIT in the semifinal which selected six out of fifteen teams, it won the second place in the final. As well as winning second prize, KAIST also won best website prize and a special prize from the competition sponsor, Northrop Grumman Corporation, an American defense technology company, totaling 16,500 U.S. dollars of prize money. The Vice President for Planning and Budget, Professor Seungbin Park said, “It was a great opportunity to showcase the advanced unmanned robot technology of Korea.” He added that “this raised KAIST’s reputation as a global research oriented university.” Professor Kim commented, “Along with automobiles and drones, the necessity for the development of unmanned ocean vehicles such as unmanned boats and submarines are recognized these days.” He added that “the use of unmanned boats will make the process of channel investigation, ocean exploration, surveillance over water territories safer and more effective.” Professor Kim’s team was sponsored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, Samsung Heavy Industries, Sonar Tech, Daeyang Electric, and Red-one Technology. KAIST Team's Unmanned Boat The Competition's Missions
KAIST was invited to the World Economic Forum's fourth "Summer Davos."
KAIST attended the World Economic Forum’s “Summer Davos Forum” held from September 13 to 15 in Tianjin, China. The Summer Davos Forum hosted various sessions and meetings with international dignitaries from governments, business and public organizations, and academia on the main theme of “Driving Growth through Sustainability.” On September 14, four subjects including “Electric Vehicles,” “Humanoid Robotics,” “Next Generation of Biomaterials,” and “New Developments in Neuroengineering” were presented by KAIST, followed by discussions with forum participants. Professor Jae-Seung Jeong of the Bio and Brain Engineering Department, Sang-Yup Lee of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, Joon-Ho Oh of the Mechanical Engineering Department, and President Nam-Pyo Suh participated in the forum as presenters of the topic. Of these speakers, Professors Jae-Seung Jeong and Sang-Yup Lee were nominated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as members of the “Young Global Leader” and “Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies,” respectively. President Suh was also invited to the CEO Insight Group and delivered an opening speech on OLEV (Online Electric Vehicle) and the Mobile Harbor. President Suh plans to sign an MOU for research cooperation with Jong-Hoo Kim of Bell Lab and Shirley Jackson of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the near future, respectively. Since 2007, the WEF, in charge of the world’s largest international conference called “Davos Forum” has hosted a “Summer Davos Forum,” also called as the “Annual Meeting of New Champions.” The Summer Davos Forum consists of nations, rising global companies, next generation of global leaders, and cities or nations that lead technological innovations. Unlike the annual Davos Forum held in January, the “Annual Meeting of New Champions” is held in September of each year in Tianjin and Dalian, China. Since 2009, the WEF has added a special session called IdeasLab in the Davos and Summer Davos Forums. Through IdeasLab, prominent universities from all over the world, research organizations, venture businesses, NGOs, and NPOs are invited to exchange and discuss innovative and creative ideas that can contribute to the development of mankind. Until now, universities including INSEAD, EPFL-ETH, MIT, Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tsinghua University, and Keio University have been invited to the IdeasLab. KAIST is the first Korean university to attend this session.
Youngseok Son and Yongjoon Chun won a prize of Commerce, Industry and Energy Minister
Youngseok Son and Yongjoon Chun won a prize of Commerce, Industry and Energy Minister Youngseok Son and Yongjoon Chun, doctorate students at circuit design and system application lab of Electrical Engineering Division, won a prize of Commerce, Industry and Energy Minister (Silver prize) at the 7th Semiconductor Design Contest hosted by the Korean Intellectual Property Office. Their work exhibited at the contest is ‘a driving circuit for the improvement of image quality of AMOLED display’. AMOLED display is gaining attention as a next-generation display for its numberless advantages compared to AMLCD and PDP, however, problems over the image quality and lifespan of the display have disturbed the substantial development. Their work verified its electrical features by proposing and designing the driving method and circuit for the improvement of the image quality and lifespan of AMOLED display. The announced driving method was named ‘Transient Cancellation Feedback (FCF)’ and its concept was published in SID 2006. Their work was evaluated to overcome the limitation of the existing driving methods by providing an intrinsic Active Matrix structure, different from the existing driving methods. It is also evaluated to strikingly enhance the speed and accuracy of data current driving through TCF driving. It is expected to significantly enhance the image quality and lifespan of AMOLED displays by applying TCF driving.
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