Cognizant Autonomous Systems for Safety Critical Applications Conference

January 28-29, 2019
Hyatt Regency, Reston, VA

ION’s Cognizant Autonomous Systems for Safety Critical Applications (CASSCA) Conference. Featuring well-recognized experts and leaders from government, industry and academia.

General Chair: Prof. Zak Kassas, University of California, Riverside
Technical Program Chair: Dr. Robert Leishman, Air Force Institute of Technology

The CASSCA 2019 Conference will explore the current state of the art in autonomous vehicles development, from the often disparate perspectives of government, industry and academic institutions. Plenary speakers, representing the wide variety of interests and perspectives on autonomous vehicles, will kick off the conference with insight into what these vehicles are capable of, and what interesting concepts are now within reach. Conference discussions will investigate the unique challenges and difficulties associated with addressing the needs of safety-critical applications in the deployment of autonomous vehicles. Crucial perspectives and important concerns from the trust, policy and ethics communities on the development and deployment of these vehicles will be heard. Technical success alone cannot secure widespread adoption and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Successful solutions will emerge from the combined efforts of scientists, engineers, and policy-makers.


A wide perspective of the current state of the art in autonomous aerial vehicles. Speakers will explore development and challenges for everything from small delivery-style drones to full-scale electric flight. Development of autonomous air vehicles has been ongoing for quite some time, but has become more pressing recently, after regulation changes have let in a little room for commercial enterprises.

Autonomous cars have been at the forefront of our national conversation with discussions about the performance and capabilities of the different developers, questions regarding appropriate policy and regulations, and tragic events resulting in lost lives. The issues, much broader than just technical, clearly still need to be addressed. This session will discuss a wide-array of topics and challenges associated with the development of autonomous ground vehicles that are prepared for safety-critical applications.

This session will address the unique perspectives of developing autonomous vehicles for both surface and sub-surface autonomous use. Small autonomous surface vessels have recently been utilized for surveying situations. However, challenges impeding the use of autonomous vehicles in larger ship classes, and within close proximity to humans and other vessels, will be explored.

How do users, bystanders, and fellow travelers know that they can trust an autonomous vehicle to behave in a predictable, logical manner? This session will address some of the key technological and psychological challenges associated with the trust in the adoption of autonomous systems. Additionally, optimal policy governing the development, use and wide-scale deployment of autonomous vehicles is a challenging problem. A wide-variety of policy-makers and legal experts will provide unique and essential insight to the problems pertaining to autonomous vehicles.

The relationship between people and autonomous vehicles goes beyond trust. The usability, interaction, and understanding that needs to exist is currently being studied. Current state-of-the-art concepts, algorithms, and approaches regarding how we utilize and interact with autonomous systems will be presented.