Fall 2020 Policies

Your team

Autonomy is safer with a team. You will work in groups of 3 or 4  for the class project, labs, and the MPs. On the first week of class, you will have to create your team. Homework assignments and exams will be solo activities for each of you to engage deeply  with the material. There will be labs and office hours to get help.

Group assignments will appear here.

Your activities and deliverable (tentative)

  • Assignments 40% (in groups)
  • Homework 15% (individual)
  • Participation: 5%
  • Midterms + Project: 40%
    • Weight distribution can be (15% + 25%) or (25% + 15%)

Assignments (a.k.a MPs)

There will be 6 Machine Problems (MPs). Mostly coding and experimentation. You will work with your teammates to implement lane detection filters, path planners, localization algorithms, and use latest tools for vehicle simulation and verification. Lab sessions will help you get started with the MPs. Each MP will have a submission deadline (usually Friday. 11:59 PM).

Tech requirements For the assignments you will be programming with ROS for which you will need your own computer with Ubuntu 16.04 OR broadband internet connection to remote login to our lab computers.


Lab Session: Tuesday, Thursday 5:00pm-6:00pm,
Meeting id: 965 6573 5224, Meeting password: 571462

We have setup a brand new lab for this course in ECEB5072 in order to help you work with ROS and related autonomy software and simulators. This semester, because of restricted access to ECEB, you will be remote logging into these computers and working with our team.

Each week after a new MP is released, your entire group will have to attend a lab section. The time slots for your team’s lab will be announced here. These labs will introduce the MP, the related software, and also teach you the necessary tools.

Each week after an MP is due,  your entire group will have to attend a lab section to demo the MP. Your MP will be graded in part based on this demo.

In all other weeks, at least one member of you group will have to attend the lab section.


There will be 5-6 short Homework assignments (HW). Mostly theoretical questions related to topics covered in lectures, MPs, and exams.


There will be 2-3 closed-book midterm/final exams. Each exam will be about 60-90 minutes  long. The midterms will be online (probably using CBTF). Dates are shown here. Details will be posted here shortly.


The class project is your opportunity to impress everyone. More details to appear here soon!

Your project will be graded based on presentation, results, methodology.


This class will work only with your active participation. Please attend lectures and labs, help your team, and everyone else in the course discover the principles of safe autonomy.

Extra Computers in ECEB3077 (this is probably not relevant for Fall 2020)

In case the computers in ECEB 5072 is not enough for students, we have setup 6 extra machines in ECEB3077. The monitors, keyboards and mousses attached to those machines are put on the top of the shelves so they won’t block the usage of other equipment. You shall put them back to the original place after you finished. To access the internet, you need to connect to Illioisnet_Guest WiFi and log in use your own netId. Those machines have ubuntu 16 and ROS installed. All students will log in to computer use the same account with user name “ros” and password “mitra498”. Please back up and delete your code after you finish, otherwise other students will have full access to your code. This lab room is used by ECE486 and the students from ECE486 have priorities to use the room. ECE498SMA students are not allowed to use the room during ECE486 lab hours. And at any time, if the lab room is full, ECE498 students need to yield their space for ECE486 students. Hence, our students are recommended to use ECEB5072 as much as possible.