P19241: Autonomous People Mover


Project Summary Project Information

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package. Summary below is customer provided from the PRP.

Most automobile forecasters predict that by the mid-2020’s autonomous driving will transform the automobile market. What started with cruise control, then driver assist, and now highway autopilot, will soon develop into full autonomy. Self-driving cars will make our roadways safer, our environment cleaner, our roads less congested, and our lifestyles more efficient [1-4]. Information Handling Services (IHS) Automotive, the world’s top automotive industry forecaster predicts that the number of self-driving cars will grow from 230,000 in the year 2025 to 11.8 million by the year 2030 to 54 million by the year 2035, to virtually all cars and trucks by the year 2050 [1]. Further, for each 10% of American cars that are converted to full autonomy, the U.S. economy will save approximately $40B/year [4]. Commuters around the world eagerly anticipate the changing of laws to allow these vehicles to take over our roadways. What started with cruise control, is now driver assist, will develop into highway auto pilot, and finally into full autonomy. From the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), to the National Science Foundation (NSF), to large private grants, big money is exchanging hands to develop this transformation. Google’s self-driving cars have already logged over 1,000,000 miles. Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo are all working towards driverless vehicles [4].

The Autonomous People Mover (APM) was conceived as a vehicle for use in transporting people across the campus of a large academic institution in the northeastern United States. Once complete, the APM will be summoned via a text message, after which it would drive itself to the customer’s location, pick them up, and determine a destination using voice recognition. The APM would then plan and traverse a path to the requested destination while maintaining the safety of passengers and bystanders. Ultimately, the purpose of the APM is twofold: to provide accessibility to campus goers, and to act as a platform for research and refinement of AV technologies.

In this his phase of the Autonomous People Mover, or Phase VI will concentrate on the following:

• Adding localization

• Improving robustness of wandering

• Response time optimization of steering

• Better speed control and brake control based on object distance and steering requirements

• Move from Hall effect encoder to built-in magnetic encoder


[1] IHS Automotive, “Emerging Technologies: Autonomous Cars- Not If, But When,” IHS Automotive study, : http://press.ihs.com/press-release/automotive/self-driving-cars-moving-industrys-drivers-seat, Jan 2, 2014.

[2] Tannert, Chuck. “Will You Ever be Able to Afford a self-Driving Car?,” www.fastcompany.com, 2014.

[3] Petri, Tom, US Chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit- Hearing on “How Autonomous ;Vehicles will Shape the Future of Surface Transportation,” Nov 19, 2013.

[4] 2nd Annual Willaim P. Eno Paper, “Preparing a Nation for Autonomous Vehicles”, 2013.

[5] U.S. Department of Transportaiton Awards $63 Million in University Transportation Cener Grants, http://www.rita.dot.gov/utc/press_releases/utc01_13, 2013

Project Name
Autonomous People Mover
Project Number
Project Family
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Alexander Loui, acleec@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Raymond Ptucha, raymond.ptucha@mail.rit.edu
Sponsor (financial support)

Team Members

Team Photo (Left to Right: Robert, Andrew, Ben, Connor, David, Isaac, Ali)

Team Photo (Left to Right: Robert, Andrew, Ben, Connor, David, Isaac, Ali)

Member Major Role Contact
Benjamin Bruns IE Project Manager brb1721@rit.edu
Isaac Witlin EE Performance & Handling Team ixw5380@rit.edu
Andrew Biviano EE Object Detection/Avoidance Team asb9594@rit.edu
Connor Billings EE Navigation/Path Planning Team cmb1746@rit.edu
David Feng (Yong Hua) CE Object Detection/Avoidance Team yxf7075@rit.edu
Robert Semple CE Performance & Handling Team rrs9716@rit.edu
Ali Batayneh CE Navigation/Path Planning Team Axb3913@rit.edu

Work Breakdown: By Phase

Live Meeting Minutes

Archived Meeting Minutes


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Gate Reviews

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation (Verification & Validation)