Asst. Prof. Fatma Güney from our Department of Computer Engineering and KUISAI has been awarded a Starting Grant by the European Research Council (ERC), one of Europe’s most prestigious scientific research supports, with her project titled “ENSURE: Enabling Self-Driving in Uncertain Real Environments”. In ENSURE, Dr. Güney aims to anticipate uncertain scenarios that autonomous vehicle may encounter in future and take it into account while taking an action.

In ENSURE, the goal is to understand the dynamics of driving with different types of uncertainty to achieve safe self-driving in complex real-world situations. These include uncertainties due to unknown intentions of other agents such as negotiation scenarios at intersections as well as uncertainties due to modelling errors, for example failing to predict future correctly due to an unknown object on the road. The 5-year project prioritizes safety and explainability of self-driving technology to increase its applicability in real world with state-of-the-art deep learning techniques.

ENSURE, one of the 400 projects selected from 2,696 applications this year, has been awarded 1.5 million Euros by the ERC. Within Turkey, there are a total of 49 ERC grants and 27 of them are attributed to Koç University faculty members. Among these, 19 have received primary project support, while 8 have received Proof-of-Concept support, including additional ERC funding for commercialization purposes. Up to this point, 17 of the projects supported by the ERC at Koç University are related to engineering, 7 to social sciences, and 3 to molecular biology and genetics research.