PhD Position for Safe Autonomous Trucks

Closing Date
WorkplaceMünchen, Bayern, Germany

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Technische Universität München

23.05.2022, Wissenschaftliches Personal

The research group Cyber-Physical Systems of Prof. Matthias Althoff at the Technical University of Munich offers a PhD position in the area of safe autonomous trucks in collaboration with MAN Truck & Bus. The Technical University of Munich is one of the top research universities in Europe fostering a strong entrepreneurial spirit and international culture.

Expected Starting Date: 01 July 2022-01 October 2022

Closing Date for Applicants: 30 June 2022

Duration: 3 years with a possible extension

Project and Job Description

Trucks transport the most goods worldwide: In Europe, they account for around 70% of freight traffic. However, 44% of long-distance drivers would not choose their profession again and 94% of logistics companies are currently struggling with driver shortages. In addition, around 90% of truck accidents are caused by human error. Autonomous trucks are the answer to many major challenges facing the modern trucking industry: Increasing truck uptime, driver productivity, driver shortages, safety, and environmental friendliness.

A major obstacle towards this promising future is to guarantee in a mathematically provable way that the automated system always works correctly in diverse environments with varying road and weather conditions and a varying degree of collaboration of traffic participants. This endeavor is especially challenging since each traffic situation is different and thus automated driving cannot be verified beforehand, requiring that the vehicle verifies itself periodically given the current traffic situation.

We address the important requirement to guarantee safe, correct, and coordinated motion of automated truck by establishing a framework, which integrates the consideration of traffic rules, maneuver and trajectory planning, and formal verification in a unique framework to provide intrinsic correctness. We will specify traffic rules and further specifications with temporal logics. These specifications will be checked using reachability analysis.

The developed methods will be tested in real trucks provided by MAN Truck & Bus. Since physical test drives are costly and time-consuming, we will accompany them with computer simulations. In order to automatically generate challenging traffic scenarios, we will also use the developed methods to control other traffic participants in a way that challenges the decision making of the truck.

Previous Work

A previous work on safe adaptive cruise control (ACC) can be found here: ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

An example of the formalization of traffic rules be found here: ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

A previous approach on reachability analysis of autonomous vehicles is described here: ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

Job Specifications

  • Excellent Master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science, engineering, or related disciplines (typically mathematics, physics).

  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required.

  • Good programming skills in at least one programming language, e.g. MATLAB, C/C++, Python.

  • Highly motivated and keen on working in an international and interdisciplinary team

  • Applicants with strong background in the following fields are preferred:

    • Autonomous vehicles

    • Robotics

    • Motion planning

    • Control theory

    • Logics

    • Formal methods


The applicant will be directly advised by Prof. Matthias Althoff ( ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> ). Besides excellent skills for conducting innovative science, the candidate should also be talented in implementing research results within the MAN Truck & Bus framework and the CommonRoad framework and lead teams of students.

Our Offer

PhD remuneration will be in line with the current German collective pay agreement TV-L E13 (around 4300 Euros/month). Technical University of Munich is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity. We explicitly encourage women to apply and preference will be given to disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications.


International candidates are highly encouraged to apply. Please submit your complete application (in English or German) via our application form: ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> Fill out all mandatory fields (*) and kindly use "Safe Autonomous Trucks" as the "Title of Position". Please do not include a cover letter. Further similar job offerings will be announced on ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> .

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In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 175188.

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