Engineering professor lands $700K grant to develop advanced sensing technology for vehicles

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James Davis, Computer Science and Engineering Professor at UCSC
By: Melissa Weckerle

James Davis, professor of computer science and engineering at the Baskin School of Engineering, has received a major grant from WISE Automotive, a Korean company that develops electronic devices used in automobiles.

The grant will provide Davis nearly $700,000 over three-and-a-half-years to develop more accurate and safer computer vision software for vehicles. The software will include components that allow a vehicle to more accurately sense objects in blind spots and alert the driver of potential hazards via flashing warning signals.

His project titled, "Development of Artificial Intelligence On Board Evaluation System for Self Driving Vehicle Sensors,” is part of a larger research initiative that aims to create advanced computer sensing technology for autonomous vehicles through the use of artificial intelligence.

Davis has also reached an agreement with WISE Automotive to allow any software developed at UC Santa Cruz to remain open source. He said he wants others in the open-source software community to benefit from technology developed at UC Santa Cruz to help further innovation in this emerging area.

In addition to working on artificial intelligence for autonomous vehicles, Davis’s research spans the fields of computer graphics, Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD), and human computation.