Spring 2020 Policies


Autonomy is safer with a team. You will work in groups of 2 or 3  for the class project, labs, and the MPs. On the first week of class, you will be assigned your project teams. Homework assignments and exams will be solo.

Your group assignment together with your lab hour assignment is here (.pdf)  now here (last updated 1/23 am)  now here (last updated 1/25).

Course components and weights

  • Assignments 30%  35% (in groups)
  • Homework 10% 15% (individual)
  • Midterms 35% 30% (individual)
  • Project 25% 20% (in groups)

3/13: We have adjusted the weights of the different course components in view of the limited access to labs and in-class exams for the COVID-19 outbreak.

Assignments (a.k.a MPs)

There will be 5-6 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 11:59 PM). For every hour of delay you will lose 4 points.


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.

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 1 hour long. The midterms will be in class. Details will be posted here shortly.


The class project is your opportunity to impress us. More details to appear 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

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.