UWT Ph.D. candidate travels to UK to share research on driverless cars

Deyang Zhong will be presenting his research related to autonomous cars with other academics and researchers in the UK later this week.

From Nov. 20-24, Deyang Zhong, a Ph.D. candidate at UWT, will be attending the British Machine Vision Conference in the UK to share his academic research.  

Zhong’s research, that was also his master’s thesis, focuses on electric vehicles specifically and their ability to read road signs for smart parking.  

“Autonomous driving is very popular now,” said Zhong. “For current autonomous systems they detect and recognize the road conditions by adjacent cars, traffic lines, and pedestrians. But for the parking sign, it could only know very simple information. Maybe it could recognize a stop or yield, but it could not recognize what the detail are in the parking sign.” 

Zhong hopes to take autonomous cars one step further by programming them to read parking signs with details such as dates when no parking is available. This way, an autonomous car will not park itself in a spot that is unavailable at a given time or day.  

Street signs that limit parking, like this one, are the focus of Zhong’s research. | Photo by Cameron J. Berrens

Zhong works on a team at UWT to develop this technology.  

“I joined this time about half a year ago,” said Zhong. “My focus is the text recognition part. Before I joined the team this was always a big problem.” 

When Zhong first completed his master’s thesis on the topic, he did not imagine it would lead to international travel.  

“When I finished my paper, I didn’t try to post it in the conference,” said Zhong. “But my director, Dr. Juhua Hu, thought we could have a try. She found many conferences in the field of computer innovation, and we found this one. Fortunately, we were accepted.” 

Zhong thinks this conference will be a fantastic opportunity to expand and improve his research.  

“There will be much research at this conference, and they will give us lots of feedback that will help improve our model and improve our system,” said Zhong. “I really think this conference will help us a lot.” 

Zhong has never been to the UK before, so he looks forward to visiting the country. He will spend most of the time at the conference but should have some spare time to see what London and the surrounding areas have to offer.  

Zhong is excited to share his research and represent UWT internationally.