Autonomous vehicle research is transforming the automotive industry. As one of the first Ph.D. students to perform research in this area at UM-Dearborn, Mark Crawford worked to establish research opportunities between UM-Dearborn and the commercial and government entities interested in this technology.
Mark is working with the Connected Vehicle Proving Center at UM-Dearborn, which offers world-class facilities and expertise to test, evaluate and showcase connected vehicle technologies, to perform research in developing a reference autonomous vehicle architecture. His research is in the area of robotic localization to support autonomous vehicles. He is applying the lessons learned while working on Ford Motor Company’s Next Generation Vehicle (NGV) with automated driving technology.
Mark mentors undergraduate and graduate students at the Connected Vehicle Proving Center. He also volunteers in Ford Motor Company’s High School Science and Technology program, which exposes high school students to cutting-edge research in the automotive industry.
“Helping high school students learn about automotive engineering and autonomous vehicle technology has been a passion of mine, and I’ve participated in several UM-Dearborn technology outreach programs to encourage pre-collegiate students to explore these areas,” Mark said.
One of those projects, “Being Mobile with Millennials,” was led by Mark. Funded by the Ford Motor Company Fund, CECS partnered with College for Creative Studies to offer the automotive design experience to area high school students.
“When I was asked to recommend someone to be the UM-Dearborn lead, I immediately thought of Mark," said Deborah Stark-Knight, research process coordinator at the Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems. “I thought he would be a remarkable role model and an outstanding mentor.”
Obtaining his Ph.D. degree in Information Systems Engineering from UM-Dearborn is a critical part to achieving Mark’s career goal. “My long-term career goal is to develop new technologies to help facilitate society’s adoption of autonomous vehicles,” he said. “The experiences that I’ve gained thus far in my doctoral program have already accelerated my career and helped prepare me for the new opportunities in autonomous vehicle research and development in the automotive industry.”