Policies – Spring 2021

Please read the syllabus.

Course Description

Expectations and Goals: By the end of this course, you should gain a deep understanding of the different modules that go into autonomous vehicles, experience implementing related algorithms, and evaluate basic safety principles.

Course Material: There is no required textbook for this course. It will be based on material from the reference texts (see Resources), lecture notes, and recent research articles all of which will be made available on the course webpage.

Your team

It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.

Autonomy is safer with a team. You will work in groups of 2-5 for the class project and the MPs. During the first week of class, you will have to create your team. More information on how to submit your team info will be provided shortly. 


  • Team MPs 40%
  • Team Project: 35%
  • Midterm: 15%
  • Participation: 10%

Assignments (a.k.a MPs)

There will be 5 Machine Problems (MPs) that are primarily coding and experimentation of different modules that go into autonomous vehicles. You will work with your teammates to implement lane detection filters, path planners, localization algorithms, and use latest tools for vehicle simulation and verification. There will be one lecture session dedicated to each MP to help you get started. See the Assignment page for more details.

Each MP report will be due on Friday at 11:59 PM. (See the Schedule page for each tentative due date.)  The MP must also be demoed for the TAs during office hours (or by appointment) by Thursday at 5pm *before the Friday deadline*.

Late Submission Policy: Each team will be given a total of four grace days that can be used as extensions on MPs or project deliverables throughout the semester. For example, you may submit an MP four days late OR you may submit two MPs two days late. There will be no extensions for in-class presentations. 

Tech requirements

For the assignments, you will be programming with ROS for which you will need your own computer that is able to run the provided Virtual Machine (preferred method!), run with Ubuntu 16.04, OR have a broadband internet connection to remote login to our lab computers. More details are provided on the Resources page.

Lab Computers

If the VM is not working on your machine (or any of your teammates’ machines), we have access to a lab in ECEB5072 with computers that run 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.

Log in information will be provided shortly.


There will be one midterm, which will be an oral exam. Details will be posted here shortly and discussed in lecture. In place of a final exam*, you will be writing a formal project report.

* If we suspect any cheating or foul play during the oral exams, we reserve the right to schedule a written final exam.


The class project is your opportunity to impress everyone and build your own autonomous vehicle than can be implemented on a real car! Details will be posted on the Project page.


This class will work only with your active participation. We will assess your participation through attendance to lectures, questions submitted for guest lectures, and feedback from your team.

COVID-19 Policies

If you feel sick, please prioritize your health and safety. If you need to miss class, contact Katie via email about making up the missed lecture. Please contact the course staff if you have any concerns.

Zoom Policies

If a lecturer is disconnected or has internet issues, please wait 15 minutes to see if issues can be sorted out. If unable to fix issues, a video will be posted to cover the lecture material.

If you are presenting and there are connectivity issues, we will ask that you try to reconnect for the duration of your timeslot and, if unable to complete the presentation, re-do the presentation for the course staff at a later time.

Attendance will be taken via chat in Zoom. If you are unable to attend lecture (participating asynchronously), you must check-in with course staff to briefly chat about the course material.

University and College Policies

Sexual Misconduct Reporting Obligation

The University of Illinois is committed to combating sexual misconduct. Faculty and staff members are required to report any instances of sexual misconduct to the University’s Title IX Office. In turn, an individual with the Title IX Office will provide information about rights and options, including accommodations, support services, the campus disciplinary process, and law enforcement options.

A list of the designated University employees who, as counselors, confidential advisors, and medical professionals, do not have this reporting responsibility and can maintain confidentiality, can be found here: wecare.illinois.edu/resources/students/#confidential.

Other information about resources and reporting is available here: wecare.illinois.edu.

Academic Integrity

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Student Code should also be considered as a part of this syllabus. Students should pay particular attention to Article 1, Part 4: Academic Integrity. Read the Code at the following URL: http://studentcode.illinois.edu/.

Academic dishonesty may result in a failing grade. Every student is expected to review and abide by the Academic Integrity Policy: https://studentcode.illinois.edu/article1/part4/1-401/. Ignorance is not an excuse for any academic dishonesty. It is your responsibility to read this policy to avoid any misunderstanding. Do not hesitate to ask the instructor(s) if you are ever in doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, cheating, or any other breach of academic integrity.

Religious Observances

Illinois law requires the University to reasonably accommodate its students’ religious beliefs, observances, and practices in regard to admissions, class attendance, and the scheduling of examinations and work requirements. You should examine this syllabus at the beginning of the semester for potential conflicts between course deadlines and any of your religious observances. If a conflict exists, you should notify your instructor of the conflict and follow the procedure at https://odos.illinois.edu/community-of-care/resources/students/religious-observances/ to request appropriate accommodations. This should be done in the first two weeks of classes.

Disability-Related Accommodations

To obtain disability-related academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids, students with disabilities must contact the course instructor and the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) as soon as possible. To contact DRES, you may visit 1207 S. Oak St., Champaign, call 333-4603, e-mail disability@illinois.edu or go to https://www.disability.illinois.edu.  If you are concerned you have a disability-related condition that is impacting your academic progress, there are academic screening appointments available that can help diagnosis a previously undiagnosed disability. You may access these by visiting the DRES website and selecting “Request an Academic Screening” at the bottom of the page.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Any student who has suppressed their directory information pursuant to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) should self-identify to the instructor to ensure protection of the privacy of their attendance in this course. See https://registrar.illinois.edu/academic-records/ferpa/ for more information on FERPA.

Anti-Racism and Inclusivity Statement

The intent is to raise student and instructor awareness of the ongoing threat of bias and
racism and of the need to take personal responsibility in creating an inclusive learning

The Grainger College of Engineering is committed to the creation of an anti-racist, inclusive community that welcomes diversity along a number of dimensions, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, disability status, class, age, or religious beliefs. The College recognizes that we are learning together in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, that Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous voices and contributions have largely either been excluded from, or not recognized in, science and engineering, and that both overt racism and micro-aggressions threaten the well-being of our students and our university community.

The effectiveness of this course is dependent upon each of us to create a safe and
encouraging learning environment that allows for the open exchange of ideas while also
ensuring equitable opportunities and respect for all of us. Everyone is expected to help establish and maintain an environment where students, staff, and faculty can contribute without fear of personal ridicule, or intolerant or offensive language. If you witness or experience racism, discrimination, micro-aggressions, or other offensive behavior, you are encouraged to bring this to the attention of the course director if you feel comfortable. You can also report these behaviors to the Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART) (https://bart.illinois.edu/). Based on your report, BART members will follow up and reach out to students to make sure they have the support they need to be healthy and safe. If the reported behavior also violates university policy, staff in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution may respond as well and will take appropriate action.