When Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed new laws into effect last year that allow operation of autonomous vehicles on the state’s roads, the landmark legislation created the Michigan Council on Future Mobility. Ryan Eustice, vice president of autonomous driving for the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), has been appointed by Governor Snyder to join this new advisory board and will help shape Michigan regulatory policy as autonomous vehicle technology develops.
The state of Michigan is positioning itself to be the world leader in autonomous, driverless and connected vehicle technology. As one of 11 appointed participants in a 21-member council that includes elected officials, Eustice will contribute recommendations for changes in state policy to help ensure the state sustains a leadership position. State officials were drawn to Eustice’s mix of academic and private-sector experience, and he will serve without compensation.
“It is an honor to be selected by Governor Snyder from among a large group of very worthy candidates,” said Eustice. “As a Michigander, I am eager to help my home state succeed at advancing autonomous vehicle research while ensuring public safety.”
Eustice is leading TRI’s fully autonomous (chauffeured) driving research in Ann Arbor, Mich. Development work is ongoing at the University of Michigan’s testbed, Mcity, and on area public roads as allowed by Michigan statute. Eustice joined TRI in March 2016 when the institute established the Ann Arbor research facility near the University of Michigan (U-M) campus, which joined research centers in Palo Alto, Calif., and Cambridge, Mass., exploring artificial intelligence, robotics and materials science.
In addition to his work for TRI, Eustice is an associate professor at the University of Michigan, a faculty status position he retains, where he has been teaching mobile robotics and other related courses since 2006. He has received several research honors, most recently receiving the U-M College of Engineering George J. Hueber Jr. Research Excellence Award in 2016.
Eustice graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Michigan State University Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He went on to earn a doctorate degree in ocean engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. His dissertation was entitled “Large-Area Visually Augmented Navigation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles.”