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Thesis Work - At Safe Vehicle Automation (SVA)

Thesis Worker at Volvo Cars

Welcome to explore the world of Volvo Cars by writing your thesis with us! As a thesis worker in our organization you are supported by a supervisor who follows you during your project. All thesis projects are arranged in business critical areas and therefore you will be able to contribute to our company purpose – providing freedom to move in a safe, sustainable and personal way – from day one! 



Our about 600 engineers contribute with safety in several areas. On top of the development of a robust, energy efficient and world class Vehicle Motion control platform, our engineers develop functionality for Active Safety and Autonomous Drive that provides an excellent ride experience to the driver and the passengers. Our future function growth and innovation depends on highly capable sensors and a powerful compute platform; therefore, we work in close collaboration with our strategic partners for our platform. Within our scope, we work with also protective safety solutions that secure preventive car behaviors in a scenario where crash cannot be avoided. 


We are offering a broad range of master thesis projects. Since our core value is everything we do starts with people, we are also open to consider your ideas and proposals. 


Note: Following are the various areas/domains we offer thesis work in. There are several master thesis projects in each of the below listed domains. Please specify in your application cover letter, the domain(s) of your interest


Domain 1: Function Development 
Function development at SVA mainly involves developing and designing new or improved Driver Support functions, especially for low-speed maneuvering, which is developed by Volvo Cars in-house. Examples could be to adapt the maneuvering of the vehicle based upon driver behavior or improve the vehicle path generation in tight or narrow parking situations.

Keywords: Concept studies, low speed maneuvering, parking functions, path generation, driver behavior


Domain 2: Data Driven Verification & Validation 
For vehicles to reach high levels of automation, data driven development and verification is a huge challenge and necessity. The initial step towards ensuring this is to carry out a well quantified and good quality data collection using test fleet vehicles. For driver assistance systems, the traditional methods of validation and verification involved driving test kilometers on test grounds and public roads. However, for higher levels of automation, the amount of test driving to prove safety of AD becomes unfeasible – instead, scenario-centric simulation-based testing is envisioned to replace the unachievable goal of test-driving billions of kilometers for validation purposes. 


The thesis projects in this area will deal with developing methods to identify and classify traffic scenarios from driving data using various design of experiments and optimization; applying statistical methods to estimate the exposure rate to rare critical scenarios never seen in test driving; automated classification of annotated data and research methods on how to facilitate good data collection. 
Keywords: Scenarios, Coverage, Validation, Corner Cases, Edge Cases, States, Transitions, extreme value theory, Optimization, Parameter Space, Data sets


Domain 3: Modelling and Simulation 
Before a new functionality is deployed on a production vehicle, it must be tested virtually in simulation environments. The existing methods used for testing Active Safety and Autonomous Driving functions are not sufficient to safely verify the performance of future AD cars. Therefore, we are constantly developing new simulation platforms to ensure both high quantity and quality of virtual verification. The projects in this area focus on research tailored to verification of existing models, generation of synthetic data sets and development of mixed reality environments. 

Keywords: Simulators, Traffic Simulation, Computer Vision, Cluster, Target Platforms, IPC, SDK, Synthetic Data, Rendering, Scenario, Open Standards, ESMini


Domain 4: Sensors & Sensor Fusion Development and Verification
The safety of our cars relies heavily on the performance of multiple sensors such as Radars, Cameras, LIDAR, Ultrasonic Sensors, Driver Monitoring Cameras and HD Map, whose readings are fused in real time to yield the holistic representation of the surrounding of autonomous vehicle validation of the performance of single sensors and the sensor fusion is done by comparing their outputs to high-accuracy data from a reference sensor system. The thesis projects in this area will deal with deploying novel methods to generate probe sourced map from various datasets, calibrate the sensors, tracking, estimation, fusion and classification of sensor data to generate more accurate representation of surroundings, increase availability of sensors in non-ideal weather conditions, using ground truth sensor data to improve performance of existing sensor systems, as well as development of modular and sensor agnostic sensor-fusion systems. 
Keywords: Radar, LIDAR, Camera, HD Map, Sensors, Sensor Fusion, SLAM, Reference Sensor, Ground Truth, Odometry, 


Domain 5: Data Driven Energy Optimization Development
Energy efficiency is considered in all design aspects of our vehicles, with increasing focus and importance. To fully minimize the energy usage, supervisory controllers and route-based optimizations strategies are used to decide the torque distribution, thermal and electrical energy consumption. Since an accurate estimate of the reminding range is of great importance (for the driver to have confidence in the vehicle and able to plan trips), prediction of energy consumption is essential input. Here is an opportunity to investigate how to coach the driver to use the vehicle in a more energy efficient way, e.g., keeping lower speed to reach destination. Another area of interest is to work with predictions of how and when the vehicle is used, to optimize pre-conditioning before departure and/or fast charging, when no information is explicitly set by the user. Finally, to realize some of these optimization strategies in on-board controllers, proposing an efficient numerical solution method is another key challenge to solve. 
Keywords: Electric vehicle driving range estimation & optimization, usage predictions, optimal battery pre-conditioning, machine learning, shortest path problem, model predictive control, numerical optimization methods, optimal control


Domain 6: Functional Safety/SOTIF / Cybersecurity


Functional Safety/SOTIF:
Volvo cars vehicles are promising technologies for achieving safer roads, mainly by avoiding accidents caused by human errors. However, replacing a human driver with an unsupervised intelligent system increases the complexity of the complete system and software drastically, implying higher risks of failures, which lead to safety related incidents. Functional safety standard (ISO 26262) and SOTIF (safety of the intended functionality) are the guidance to develop and maintain safe driving experience. Different analysis methods for various purposes are mentioned and described in these standards, for implementing on automotive systems to define safety requirements.
Keywords: Functional safety, ISO 26262, SOTIF, complexity, failure, collision avoidance.


With the rapid development of technology, traditional cities are becoming smarter. One component of smart city is smart mobility and autonomous vehicles. Cyber threats of smart mobility are also quickly increasing. There are many ongoing researches on attacks and defenses for autonomous vehicles, i.e., how to classify attacks, how to defend such attacks, etc. Thus, different approaches using artificial intelligence and machine learning are gradually being developed for detecting abnormalities during the development of big data and communication technologies.
Keywords: Cyber security, cyber-attacks, privacy, location-based privacy, TARA


Do you fit the profile? 
We are looking for candidates with excellent academic records who are open, innovative, driven and team-players. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of our work, we are extending our search to a broad range of competences. If you think that you have what it takes to help us in our journey to deliver a safe & human-centric unsupervised driving with world class vehicle motion experience, read below on the practicalities and register your application with us as soon as you can.  


Does this sound like your next challenge? Below are some practicalities you need to be aware of: 

  • Tentative proposed thesis work period: 18th January 2022 to 25th of June 2022 (dates can be flexible with +/- 7 days)
  • Academic credits: equivalent to 30 ECTS 
  • Number of students: 1-2 students per project (2 preferred)


How to learn more and apply 
Selection will be ongoing during the application period, so do not hesitate to send in your application. Attach your CV and personal letter stating your interests (including which area you would like to work and why) within the given area and your thoughts and credentials. 
Apply as soon as possible but no later than November 14th. Please note that applications via email will not be accepted. 


For questions about the thesis work please contact Ole-Fredrik Dunderberg at  ole-fredrik.dunderberg@volvocars.com.   


Who are we?

Everything we do starts with people. Our purpose is to provide freedom to move, in a personal, sustainable and safe way. We are committed to simplifying our customers’ lives by offering better technology solutions that improve their impact on the world and bringing the most advanced mobility innovations to protect them, their loved ones and the people around them. 

Volvo Cars’ continued success is the result of a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive working environment. The people of Volvo Cars are committed to making a difference in our world. Today, we are one of the most well-known and respected car brands, with over 40,000 employees across the globe. We believe in bringing out the best in each other and harnessing the true power of people. At Volvo Cars your career is designed around your talents and aspirations so you can reach your full potential. Join us on a journey of a lifetime as we create safety, autonomous driving and electrification technologies of tomorrow.

Gothenburg, Sweden

Job requisition ID:  54843

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