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September 2015

Driver behaviour gets analyzed in the fast lane

The ultimate goal is to better understand driver behaviour and to identify events that may be predictors of some driver actions.

When Globalink Research intern Xiaoyang Li arrived in London, Ontario in early August, the first thing he noticed was London’s clean air and the difference in rush hour traffic compared to back home. Hailing from China’s Tianjin University, Xiaoyang is in Canada for 12 weeks working with a team of researchers in the Department of Computer Science at Western University on a project called “RoadLab.”  

Working under the supervision of Professor Michael Bauer, Xiaoyang’s role involves collecting data from an instrumented car to build an algorithm for an intelligent driver-assistance system. The algorithm will be used to help identify certain objects — pedestrians, road signs, traffic lights, bicycles, and other vehicles — from video sequences collected when the car is in motion. The ultimate goal is to better understand driver behaviour and to identify events that may be predictors of some driver actions.

For Xiaoyang, researching alongside a Canadian professor and a team of graduate students has been one of the most rewarding experiences of his Globalink internship. Says Xiaoyang: “Back home, I mainly write research papers without really getting to do much hands-on work. Collaborating with Professor Bauer and his students towards a common goal has given me the chance to enhance my academic life and, ultimately, my career.”


Mitacs would like to thank the Government of Canada, along with the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, and the Government of Saskatchewan for their support of Mitacs Globalink Research Internships. In addition, Mitacs is pleased to work with international partners to support Globalink, including the China Scholarship Council, Campus France, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education, and Tunisia’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Mission Universitaire de Tunisie en Amerique du Nord.