World-leading vehicle technology researcher at the University of Newcastle, Associate Professor Tristan Perez, says we are on the verge of widespread use of intelligent autonomous vehicles (IAV) for border patrol, rapid emergency response, search and rescue, bushfire and flood monitoring, and early detection of threats to national assets. Appearing at the inaugural Design, Interactive Technology and Greentech (DiG) Festival in Newcastle this October 2-5, Associate Professor Perez will discuss the latest global innovations and challenges in this space.

A crucial benefit of this technology is its ability to undertake dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks that would otherwise have been conducted by humans.

“IAVs can save lives by placing themselves in harsh or dangerous environments humans would rather not find themselves in. They allow operators to safely monitor a situation remotely while increasing awareness and tactical options,” said Associate Professor Perez.

Associate Professor Perez’ latest research has significant potential to impact on commercial industrial products developed in collaboration with Boeing Research and Technology Australia. His previous work has also contributed to Australia’s border control capability by helping to increase the operational effectiveness of patrol vessels used by the Australian Customs Service.

Associate Professor Perez’ latest work focuses on the assessment of IAV technology capabilities within existing defence, national security and civilian environments.

“Developing and maturing these vehicles will require significant research efforts and innovation in areas of technology, certification, business, and public acceptance,” said Associate Professor Perez.

Register for DiG Festival 

In the media

The Australian | Technology - Intelligent thinking not just for the birds, October 01, 2013

About Tristan

Tristan Perez is an Associate Professor at the School of Engineering of The University of Newcastle. He has an Electronics Engineering degree and a doctorate in Control Engineering.

For over ten years, A/Prof Perez has been working on optimising vehicle guidance and motion control systems for marine operations and he is considered a world-leading researcher in this area. In recent years, his research has been focussed on how to assess robust autonomy and evaluation of decision making in intelligent autonomous vehicles. Part of this research is conducted in collaboration with industry and defence.

A/Prof Perez is currently the leader of the mechatronics program at the School of Engineering of The University of Newcastle, where he also leads a research group on autonomous systems and robotics.

In 2009, Perez started Advanced Control & System Dynamics ( ), a company within the university that provides research and consultancy services to industry.