PhD Student Position – Pedestrian/Cyclist Motion Prediction for Self-Driving Vehicles

TU Delft
Posted 2 months ago

The Intelligent Vehicles group at TU Delft is seeking a PhD candidate with an interest in performing cutting edge research in the area of self-driving vehicles. This PhD position is part of the project “Safe interaction of automated vehicles with vulnerable road users” (SafeVRU). The project will develop sensing, intent recognition, and vehicle control strategies for the interaction of automated vehicles with vulnerable road users (VRU) such as pedestrians and cyclists. Several Dutch industry partners participate in this project (2getthere, TNO Automotive, NXP); beyond these, multiple collaborations with the European automotive industry exist.

The Ph.D. position involves developing motion/behavior models for pedestrians/cyclists, that can accurately predict their future trajectories. These models are to be learned/parametrized using training data and will take into account sensor measurements (e.g. position, velocity, pose, gestures, and traffic environment) and prior knowledge (physical constraints, map data). A challenge is to deal with the uncertainty derived from imprecise sensor measurements and from highly maneuverable targets that can change their velocities abruptly (e.g. change of direction, start/stop walking). Several motion model types will be considered initially, based on explicit dynamics, trajectory learning and planning (agents). In particular, deep learning for motion prediction will be investigated.

Applicants should have a strong academic record with a solid background in computation, sensor processing (e.g. computer vision), machine learning and AI. Good programming skills are expected, preferably in C++ and MATLAB/Python. Knowledge of deep-learning frameworks (TensorFlow/Torch/Caffe) and OpenCV/ROS/CUDA is a plus. A certain affinity towards turning complex concepts into real-world practice (i.e. vehicle demonstrator) is desired. Applicant(s) are expected to be able to act independently as well as to collaborate effectively with members of a larger team. Good English skills are required.

The Ph.D.-Student appointment is full time (38 hours a week) and will be for a period of four years (the initial employment is 18 months and after a positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended further with 30 months) and should lead to a dissertation. Salary is in accordance with the university regulations for academic personnel. The PhD-Student salary will range from €2174 (first year) up to a maximum of €2779 (last year). The figures is before tax per month based on a full-time appointment. Secondary benefits amount to an additional 16.3% of yearly salary.

Living conditions in the Netherlands (e.g. Delft, Hague, Amsterdam) are considered to be among the very best in Europe. The TU Delft scores consistently high in international comparisons (e.g. within top 20 in QS World Univ. Rankings 2015/2016 in Engineering and Technology).

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Dr. D. M. Gavrila (e-mail: To apply, please submit

  • a letter of motivation explaining why you are the right candidate,
  • a detailed CV,
  • a complete record of Bachelor and Master courses (including grades),
  • a link to your Master’s Thesis (at least as draft)
  • any publications, and a list of projects you have worked on with brief descriptions of your contributions (max 2 pages), and
  • the names and contact addresses of two references.

All these items should be combined in one PDF document and submitted by means of the online form.

Application deadline is March 31st, 2019.

Job Features

Salary (first year)€2174
Salary (last year)€2779
Application deadline31.03.2019

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