“Vahana”- Development of a self-piloted air taxi and its collision avoidance system

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SPEAKER:Dr Cedric Cocaud, Sr. Perception Engineer, A³ – Airbus
DATE: Monday, November 27, 2017
TIME: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
PLACE: University of Ottawa, School of Information Technology and Engineering (SITE), 800 King Edward Ave., 5th Floor, Board Room 5084.
PARKING: Please respect restricted parking areas around University of Ottawa.
INFORMATION: Professor J.Z. Sasiadek, Carleton University, email: Jurek.Sasiadek@carleton.ca


Vahana project started in early 2016 as one of the first projects at A³, the advanced projects outpost of Airbus in Silicon Valley. The VTOL aircraft is designed to be electrically powered, self-piloted, and able to automatically detect and avoid obstacles and other aircrafts. This new class of vehicle is meant to be the first certified self-piloted passenger aircraft enabling Airbus to provide a fully autonomous air transportation service for passengers in dense urban environments. The vehicle is designed to automatically detect and avoid obstacles and other aircrafts, while carrying a single passenger or cargo. This presentation discusses the key challenges to develop the autonomous systems of a self-piloted air taxi for operations in urban environments.


Cedric Cocaud received a B.A.S. and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a M.S. at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, before working on the development of unmanned air vehicle navigation systems for the Department of Defense R&D Ottawa, as well as on multi-robot navigation systems at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Canada. Completed a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering at the University of Tokyo, working with the Japanese Space Agency on monocular simultaneous localization and mapping for autonomous landing on asteroids. Founded a startup in Paris developing an autonomous multi-drone security system for large industrial facilities. Joined A³, the advanced projects outpost of Airbus in Silicon Valley, in 2016 as the Senior Perception Engineer of the Sense & Avoid Group of the “Vahana” Project. Main research interests include deep learning, autonomous vehicles, guidance navigation and control, and computer vision


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