Informatics PhD student wins 3rd prize in the Shape the Future of ITS Competition

[18/05/2022] Bálint Gyevnár, a first-year PhD student in the School of Informatics won the 3rd prize in the 2021 “Shape the Future of ITS” Competition organised by IEEE – ITSS and aimed at young professionals, practitioners, researchers and students. Participants were asked to present their futuristic vision on Intelligent Transportation System (ITS).  

In his awarded essay, Bálint concludes that the success of future ITS relies on its ability to explain its behaviours to human users.  

Example scenario of an autonomous vehicle behaviour presented in a natural language
Example scenario of an autonomous vehicle behaviour presented in a natural language

Experts expect that autonomous vehicles can outperform human drivers and contribute to reducing the number of accidents and decreasing emissions. However, the general public are sceptical about applying AI in the transport system. Bálint argues that the lack of trust in AI and reports of fatal accidents are the main source of their anxiety. His solution is to equip autonomous vehicles with the ability to explain their behaviour to human users on demand. The explanation should be presented in a natural language (e.g. English, or any language used by ordinary humans), and preferably supported by visual and audio information.

Bálint's essay expanded on his prior work on creating a natural language explanation system for motion planning and prediction in autonomous driving, during his research internship in Results of this work were presented at the Royal Society entrepreneurial workshop. 

I was very happy to have received this prize. While I did think that my submission was quite good, I didn't really expect it to win as there seemed to be quite a lot of submissions to this competition. This essay outlines the overall vision for my PhD, which I have started just this year, and it is very reassuring to see that other people also think that it is worth working on this problem. I am grateful to my supervisors who helped with a lot of valuable feedback during the writing of this essay.

Bálint Gyevnár 
1St PhD student, School of Informatics 

Bálint is a PhD student in the Centre for Natural Language Processing supervised by Stefano V. Albrecht, Shay Cohen, and Christopher G. Lucas. His research focuses on building explainable AI for autonomous vehicles that can communicate with human beings using natural language with the aim of supporting public adoption of autonomous vehicles.  

IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society (ITSS) is part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world's largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology. 

IEEE - ITSS aim to advance the theoretical, experimental, and operational aspects of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies as applied to intelligent transportation systems. 


This story was developed by Ricky Zhu from the Informatics Science Communications Group, find out more about this group by visiting the link below.

Informatics Science Communications Group 

Related links 

Link to IEEE-ITSs website

Bálint Gyevnar;s personal page