Model-based Embedded and Robotic Systems Group

MIT CSAIL

Personal Transportation System

The Personal Transportation System is a joint project between the MERS group, CSLI at Stanford and the Boeing Company. It aims at demonstrating the concept of an autonomous Personal Air Vehicle, in which the passenger interacts with the vehicle in the same manner that they interact with a taxi driver. To interact with a PAV, the passenger describe his/her goals and constraints in English. The autonomous system onboard the PAV checks the map and weather, generates a safe plan and flies the vehicle to the destination. If there is a change in the weather condition or airport availability, the system can automatically modify the original plan to achieve the passenger’s goals.

Courtesy of the Boeing Corporation

To interact with PTS, the passenger describes her goals and constraints in spoken English; for example, “PTS, I would like to go to Hanscom Field now, and we need to arrive by 4:30. Oh, and we’d like to fly over Yarmouth, if that’s possible. The Constitution is sailing today.” PTS checks the weather, plans a safe route, and alternative landing sites, in the event that an emergency landing is required. Suppose that the passenger’s goals can no longer be achieved, then PT presents to the passenger a set of safe alternatives. For example, PTS might say, “A thunder storm has appeared along the route to Hanscom. I would like to re-route in order to avoid the thunderstorm. This does not provide enough time to fly over Yarmouth and still arrive at Hanscom by 4:30. Would you like to arrive later, at 5pm, or skip flying over Yarmouth? In the future, PTS will be able to reason about user preference, and will be able to ask the user probing questions that will help her identify the best options.

PTS in Apr 2009:

PTS in Nov 2011

Personal Transportation System with Improved Plan Diagnosis

Semantic Relaxation that finds smart alternatives for your trip

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