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IEEE President’s Column: An IEEE for the Next Technological Revolution

It's critical for our shared future that the organization is prepared

5 min read
Photo of José M. F. Moura
Photo: Carnegie Mellon

THE INSTITUTEI want to reflect on the unique times we live in and how they force us to rethink our organization.

Our roots go back to the founding of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) in 1884. It is interesting to note that AIEE was around at the onset of the second industrial revolution in the last quarter of the 19th century. That time period was dominated by electricity, radio, the telephone, and many other advances. Fast-forward to 1963, when AIEE and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE), which had been founded in 1912, decided to bridge any remnant rivalry, joined forces, and restructured into one organization more attuned to the times: IEEE.

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Self-Driving Cars Work Better With Smart Roads

Intelligent infrastructure makes autonomous driving safer and less expensive

9 min read
A photograph shows a single car headed toward the viewer on the rightmost lane of a three-lane road that is bounded by grassy parkways, one side of which is planted with trees. In the foreground a black vertical pole is topped by a crossbeam bearing various instruments. 

This test unit, in a suburb of Shanghai, detects and tracks traffic merging from a side road onto a major road, using a camera, a lidar, a radar, a communication unit, and a computer.

Shaoshan Liu

Enormous efforts have been made in the past two decades to create a car that can use sensors and artificial intelligence to model its environment and plot a safe driving path. Yet even today the technology works well only in areas like campuses, which have limited roads to map and minimal traffic to master. It still can’t manage busy, unfamiliar, or unpredictable roads. For now, at least, there is only so much sensory power and intelligence that can go into a car.

To solve this problem, we must turn it around: We must put more of the smarts into the infrastructure—we must make the road smart.

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