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CIM invites speakers with diverse interests to present seminars to its community on a regular basis. The details of next seminar scheduled are shown below. If the next seminar hasn't yet been scheduled, please check back soon. In the meantime, an overview of all seminars (past & future) can be perused by following the "All Seminars" link below.

Vahana – by A3 / Airbus – Development of a self-piloted air taxi and its sense & avoid system

Cedric Cocaud
A3 by Airbus

November 28, 2017 at  4:00 PM
McConnell Engineering Room 437


Vahana 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.


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-robots 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 A^3, 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.