Mobility Feature: Josh Siegel

Josh Siegel
Josh Siegel

Dr. Josh Siegel is creating safer, more reliable vehicles.

Siegel is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University. His research focuses on how to make contemporary and future vehicles more secure, reliable and efficient so transportation becomes more accessible, lower cost and safer.

Siegel and his lab, the DeepTech Lab at MSU, focus on three mobility-related issues: Enhanced vehicle diagnostics and prognostics, vehicle and road network cybersecurity and developing more-robust self-driving algorithms.

In diagnostics and prognostics, they use pervasive sensing to gather vibroacoustic signals from vehicles. These signals are gathered by everyday devices, such as smartphones or smartwatches. The signals picked up can tell a vehicle owner what parts will need to be replaced and when.

“Compared with conventional maintenance approaches, we can use an individual’s own device to identify the needs of a specific vehicle with high precision and accuracy, providing rich information where previously there was little,” Siegel said.

With cybersecurity, Siegel is looking to improve the security surrounding automated vehicles. His lab uses Artificial Intelligence to enhance the trustworthiness of the software in these vehicles, so higher levels of automation, such as safety systems and self-driving, can be safely implemented.

As for self-driving, Siegel and his team are developing two complementary technologies to increase an automated vehicle’s ability to “drive defensively.” They are using predictive technology and adversarial algorithms to do this.

“Just like you may have learned to ‘drive like everyone is out to get you’ in order to become a safer driver, computers can do the same,” Siegel said.

As a Michigan native, Siegel grew up surrounded by car culture.

“As a kid, I got swept up with a love for vehicles – building model cars, spending days watching classics cruising Woodward – and later, restoring my own,” Siegel said. “I developed a love for how cars blend art, craftsmanship, and engineering into one incredible bundle of human passion and creativity.”

Check out Dr. Siegel’s lab page here.

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