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University Academic Fellow in Vehicle Automation

University of Leeds - Institute for Transport Studies, Faculty of Environment

Location: Leeds
Salary: £40,792 to £48,677 per annum (Grade 8)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 28th January 2019
Closes: 10th March 2019
Job Ref: ENVTR1082

Are you an experienced and ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have a strong research background in vehicle automation? Do you want to further your career in a World-Leading, research-intensive Russell Group University?

With a vision and drive to contribute to a World-Leading research portfolio, as well as a passion for undertaking research-led teaching, you will make a significant impact on the performance, stature and profile of research and student education at The University of Leeds.

In a bid to improve road safety, reliability, energy efficiency and productivity, while reducing infrastructure costs, vehicle manufacturers are increasing the degree of automation in cars. These systems reduce the driver’s involvement in the actual operation of the vehicle, while increasing their potential to engage in other tasks, such as reading emails, texting etc.

As automation penetration increases, it is not clear how humans will interact with these systems and what the real consequences of vehicle and road automation are. With its world leading Virtuocity centre, incorporating an immersive simulation suite which includes the leading motion-based driving simulator in the UK and the world leading, state-of-the-art, EPSRC-funded, pedestrian-in-the-loop simulator, the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) is at the forefront of understanding the human factors challenges these automated systems pose.

Members of the Human Factors and Safety group at ITS are partners in a number of leading projects in this area, including HumanDrive, funded by Innovate UK, and the EU-sponsored interAct and L3Pilot projects, which are investigating solutions for the  human-centred design of these systems, as well as their verification and validation. Designing automated vehicles, requires a multidisciplinary approach and we need an expert in machine learning, vehicle control or simulation validation techniques to help design the vehicles of the future. With researchers involved from the School of Computer, Mechanical Engineering, Psychology and the Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA), the University provides the perfect environment to leverage the multidisciplinary interaction between artificial intelligence and immersive simulation, to ensure that these systems provide a safe environment for traditional drivers and other, more vulnerable, road users.

This fellowship position is available in a vibrant research market, with over £500M of funding opportunities in the driverless car research area supported by multiple funding paths, including the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Meridian Mobility Technology, UKRI, Innovate UK, and the European Commission, as well as through direct collaboration with a wide range of industrial partners.

In partnership with colleagues at ITS and across the University, you will be encouraged and supported to develop multidisciplinary research proposals. You must be able to apply knowledge from Engineering, Computer Science, or other relevant disciplines to leverage existing developments in simulation, sensors, Artificial Intelligence, and control technologies.

You will also expand the link between the engineering and human factors aspects of this work, and you will be expected to play a key part in bringing together interests in automation research across the University. Working closely with colleagues from Virtuocity, Psychology, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, the School of Computing, and Leeds Robotics, with an aim to build a cross-disciplinary PhD training programme in automation, simulation and immersive technologies. You will contribute to current and future Masters teaching at ITS, and to the recruitment and supervision of doctoral students in the area.

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