The pioneering innovations of Petros Ioannou have been instrumental in making adaptive cruise control (ACC) a practical reality and spurring its commercial adoption by the automotive industry. Using forward-looking sensors such as radar, ACC systems automatically adjust a vehicle’s speed to maintain a safe driving distance based on vehicles ahead of it. Unique to Ioannou’s work was implementing a time-headway approach to vehicle spacing instead of the popular belief of using vehicle-to-vehicle communications. By avoiding the complications of vehicle-to-vehicle communications, manufacturers such as Ford were able to bring ACC technology to market quickly. Ioannou’s ACC systems also provide smoother acceleration and speed response, which have demonstrated positive effects on traffic flow, fuel economy, and the environment.
An IEEE Fellow, Ioannou is a professor with the University of Southern California, Director of the Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies, and Associate Director of Research of the University Transportation Center METRANs, Los Angeles, CA, USA.