Ragunathan (Raj) Rajkumar is the George Westinghouse Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Rajkumar serves as director of the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute, USDOT Mobility21 National University Transportation Center, USDOT T-SET National University Transportation Center, Real-Time and Multimedia Systems Lab, and co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Connected and Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab (CAD-CRL).

Rajkumar's research interests lie in all aspects of embedded real-time systems and wireless/sensor networks. In the domain of embedded real-time systems, his interests include but are not limited to operating systems, scheduling theory, resource management, wired/wireless networking protocols, quality of service management, hardware/software architecture, model-based design tools and power management. In the context of wireless/sensor networks, his research interests span hardware, devices, power-efficient networking protocols, run-time environments, large-scale system architectures, visualization and administrative tools.

Rajkumar has received multiple awards, including the Carnegie Science Award in Information Technology, the Steven J. Fenves Award for Systems Research from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and the Outstanding Technical Achievement and Leadership Award from the IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Stystems. He has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers and a Distinguished Engineer by the Association for Computing Machinery. He has received multiple best paper awards, spoken at various conferences and events, been a member or chair of professional committees and conferences, and consulted for several companies. Rajkumar is a member of the editorial board of Real-Time Systems Journal and previously served on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Image Processing.

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Raj Rajkumar

Driverless Vehicles


1989 Ph.D., Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

1986 MS, Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

1984 Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), Electronics and Communications Engineering, University of Madras

Media mentions

Business Insider

Rajkumar quoted on autonomous vehicles

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar spoke with Business Insider about his thoughts on Tesla's groundbreaking Autopilot feature and how it compares to competing technologies.

CMU Engineering

Mill 19 opening signals new era of manufacturing

Carnegie Mellon University researchers and robots will soon occupy a state-of-the-art facility at the newly constructed Mill 19 building on the 178-acre site known as Hazelwood Green.


Rajkumar quoted on the challenges of autonomous vehicles

Waymo has agreed to work with Renault and Nissan to research commercial and legal issues related to driverless transportation in France and Japan. These issues are only part of the challenges faced by autonomous vehicles, such as the nuanced aspects of human driving behavior. “In Pittsburgh, for example, we have something called a Pittsburgh left turn, and that’s the local culture,” said ECE’s Raj Rajkumar. “Boston has a driving culture where people double-park willy-nilly. Autonomous vehicles need to be taught to deal with all these situations.”

The Wall Street Journal

Rajkumar comments on the roles of human minds and AI in self-driving car safety

We can be a lot safer on the road when we combine the best machine capabilities and our own ability to find novel solutions to unique problems. ECE’s Raj Rajkumar points out that human minds and artificial intelligence (AI) play different roles in self-driving car safety.

The Verge

Rajkumar points out the limitations of Tesla’s Autopilot technology

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar points out the limitations of Tesla’s Autopilot technology by explaining that radar outputs of detected objects are sometimes ignored by the vehicle’s software, causing the vehicle to perform wrong actions.

The Associated Press

Rajkumar comments on Tesla’s future plans

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar was recently quoted by The Associated Press in an article concerning Elon Musk’s plan to start converting Tesla’s electric cars into self-driving vehicles for 2020. Rajkumar does not believe in Musk's plan and criticizes Musk for shirking public safety.

Popular Science

Rajkumar talks about building public trust in AV’s

Autonomous vehicles are slowly creeping onto our roadways and into our lives, but according to ECE’s Raj Rajkumar, it will take time to build trust between human and AV.

Associated Press News

Rajkumar addresses pace of AV development

While autonomous vehicles continue to dominate the headlines, experts like ECE's Raj Rajkumar generally agree that difficulties handling snow and fog, variations in road marking, human drivers, crossing traffic lanes, and consumer acceptance mean that they’re still far from becoming ubiquitous.


Rajkumar on the future of autonomous cars

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar was quoted in an article by KQED that discusses why autonomous have a long way to go before they become mainstream and available across the country. One reason is the weather, particularly snow, which can obstruct the view of the cars’ cameras, interfering with object recognition sensors. “It’ s like losing part of your vision,” Rajkumar said.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Rajkumar says autonomous vehicles technology is “almost there”

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar weighed in with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for its coverage of a recent autonomous vehicle (AV) conference examining how companies, both indirectly and directly related to the emerging AV market, are preparing for widespread AV deployment.


Rajkumar comments on autonomous vehicle company partnerships

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar was quoted on a new type of autonomous vehicle licensing agreement in a Wired article about Ike’s self-driving trucks.


Rajkumar on self-driving cars

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar was interviewed about the progress of self-driving cars, saying, “Driving is the most complex activity that most adults engage in on a regular basis. Just because we do it doesn't mean we can teach computers to easily do it. It will be many more years for full automation.”