Krisada Kritayakirana is a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Stanford’s Dynamic Design Lab, where he is designing a system for the control of an autonomous vehicle at the limits of handling. Like an expert racecar driver, the controller senses the available tire grip, then adjusts the steering, brake, and throttle inputs to obtain optimum vehicle performance within this limit. An autonomous test vehicle is now scheduled for speed trials and a climb up Pikes Peak. Krisada’s controller could, as a component of a driver-assistance system, make the high-performance passenger car of the future safer and easier to drive.
A native of Thailand, Krisada has had a passion for cars since an early age. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, then took a Master’s degree in engineering at the University of Cambridge (Queens’ College), where his research focused on vehicle-suspension vibration at high frequencies; he remained in the UK for two years to work at Lotus, the noted sports-car manufacturer. Following his degree at Stanford, Krisada plans to return to Thailand as a social entrepreneur, with the aim of improving the lives of the Thai people.