P20241: Autonomous People Mover Episode VII - The Force Awakens


Project Summary Project Information

Updated information is posted here: https://wiki.rit.edu/display/P20241/Project+Overview

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.

Problem Statement:

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. 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 2,000,000 miles, and Tesla can log up to 1M miles per day. All car manufacturers are now working towards driverless vehicles.

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 Autonomous Vehicle technologies.

Prior APM MSD projects have developed a strong foundation for autonomous capability. With an emphasis on safety and modular development, previous MSD teams have created a platform with state-of-the-art sensors. This year's APM MSD prject will center around software - firstly accurately localizing on a map, then constructing intermediate waypoints, then navigating from one waypoint to the next while recognizing and avoiding obstacles.

MSD Team Statement:

To develop an Autonomous People Mover (APM) that is to be utilized for transporting people across the RIT academic campus. This vehicle is to be developed with the capability of being summoned via Text Message, in addition to autonomous navigation to each waypoint. Once the customer has been retrieved, the destination will be determined using Voice Recognition technology. The safety of the customer and all bystanders is paramount to the success of this project.

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

  • Localization on RIT Campus Map using a combination of GPS & Video
  • Constructing intermediate waypoints for routes
  • Detection of Objects using both LiDAR technology and a front-facing video camera
  • Obstacle avoidance as the vehicle traverses from one waypoint to the next
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Project Name
Autonomous People Mover - VII
Project Number
Project Family
Autonomous People Mover
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Alexander Loui, acleec@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Dr. Ray Ptucha, rwpeec@rit.edu
Sponsor (financial support)
  • D3
  • TI (Radar)
  • Additional Funding Provided by Harris Corporation

Team Members

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Member Role Major Contact
Jon Laos TBD ISE jxl6070@rit.edu
Christopher Cassidy TBD CE cwc1111@rit.edu
Jamie Kubeck TBD CE jrk1443@rit.edu
Joel Abreu TBD EE jxa5477@rit.edu
Matthew McGarvey TBD EE mnm7232@rit.edu


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