ACM Launches New Publication to Probe ATS Tech Potential

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced it has published the inaugural edition of a new research publication focused on the challenges and promises of autonomous vehicles and the social implications that these systems pose.

The publication, titled the ACM Journal on Autonomous Transportation Systems (JATS), covers everything from self-driving cars to aerial drones. The JATS editorial team said that the publication reflects the increasing importance of issues such as data, models, computation, and scale as they relate to the area of autonomous transportation systems.

“An exciting new frontier of modern mobility is opening up before us,” explained JATS Co-Editor-in-Chief Satish Ukkusuri, who is a Reilly Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University. “Recent advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and sensor fusion have led to exciting advances on the road to navigating vehicles without human drivers.”

“At the same time, the field is still confronting critical challenges. We envision JATS as a venue where researchers from around the world can share the most important new developments in the field, with the ultimate goal of overcoming longstanding challenges,” Ukkusuri added.

The inaugural issue explains that autonomous transportation systems can offer great benefits to society and promise safer, more efficient modes of travel. The editors also note that autonomous vehicles can “potentially revolutionize various industries including personal commuting, logistics, public transit, parking, and city design.”

However, autonomous vehicles still have a way to go before they can be fully autonomous. Currently, the auto industry has introduced “Level 2” automated vehicles, which means that a driver can only temporarily take their hands off the steering wheel.

Researchers are developing “Level 5” vehicles – or fully driverless vehicles – but these are still in the research and development stage, and it is unclear when they will be available to the public.

“JATS has also been planned to reflect the multidisciplinary nature of this field,” said Co-EiC Vaneet Aggarwal, a professor of industrial engineering at Purdue University. “We will present the best research from all disciplines that contribute to this technology, including algorithms, computational solutions, and frameworks that will advance the AV research domain – as well as transportation engineering and public policy.”

“The inaugural issue reflects this vision and presents articles on a broad range of topics – from truck platoons to the impact of autonomous vehicles on societal digital disparities, and finally, approaches for selecting safe lane-changing trajectories,” Aggarwal added. “Numerous articles have already been accepted for future issues. It is truly exciting to witness the growing momentum within the research field of Autonomous Transportation Systems. JATS will be at the forefront of this movement.”

View the complete inaugural edition.