Navigating the Internet of Things

Posted on September 22, 2020

Imagine if your car talked to other cars. And to the road. And to the stop sign. Sound like science fiction? For Dr. Ning Lu, it’s a future that he’s helping to create.

As the Canada Research Chair in Future Communication Networks, Dr. Lu is engaged in a broad range of research related to real-time scheduling, distributed algorithms and reinforcement learning for wireless communications network. He and his team have won several awards, including second place in the international Valeo Innovation Challenge for excellence in vehicular networking protocol design.

While the internet might seem like a ubiquitous, unlimited resource, Dr. Lu notes that it must be managed properly as more and more smart devices are designed. “Think about your home, and the many things that now access the internet, both to send and receive information,” he says. Perhaps at one time there were 10 devices in your home – but that may soon become a hundred.”IOT Car applicaitons

Dr. Lu is working with algorithms to help manage wireless network traffic, using computations from smart devices to shape and manage the immense amount of data that travels around our world.

Those algorithms are vital to safely design and manage autonomous cars as they move around and interact with their environment. “For autonomous cars to work, we need them to be able to communicate with each other and with the road infrastructure,” says Dr. Lu. “All of that data needs to be delivered in real time, which means we need to develop reliable and highly sophisticated systems.”

Dr. Lu says that using algorithms in network design and the availability of 5G technology will have a huge global impact, leading to smart factories, automated agriculture and improved e-health systems. It can also provide for automated and rapid response for emergencies, such as sending drones out during an earthquake to provide immediate support.

“As technology continues to evolve, so too must the network that supports it,” says Dr. Lu. “We need to engineer intelligent, elegant systems to match the pace of discovery.”

Picture of the IOT of cars