ThinkBDW’s Saad addresses industry leaders on driverless cars and virtual reality

7th November 2016

Digital Creative Director Saad Minhas has blazed a trail at a prestigious international conference with his ideas on driverless cars and virtual reality.

Saad, who has been sponsored by ThinkBDW to complete his part-time PhD at the University of Essex, presented his innovative ideas in a Scientific Research Paper at the European Conference on Computer Vision in Amsterdam.

The father-of-one’s paper focuses on using virtual reality models to improve driverless cars, and in particular to study driver reaction times needed to avoid accidents. “Myself and colleagues from the Universities of Essex and Barcelona were involved in the development of a virtual driving simulator for conducting our research,” he said.

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Saad, 30, added: “The paper was very well received by the scientific community at the conference at the University of Amsterdam. Some of the best minds in computer vision are working hard to bring autonomous cars to our roads as soon as possible; the next ten years will be really interesting. Thanks to ThinkBDW and the Universities of Essex and Barcelona, I can play a part in these exciting innovations.”

“Automotive manufacturers are moving rapidly towards driverless cars; it is estimated that by 2020 fully autonomous cars would become a common sight in the major cities around the world. There will always be instances which require the driver to take back control in order to avoid an accident, but work to make these vehicles as smart as possible will make them safer. A person in a driverless car will always need to be ready to quickly take over the controls, yet as part of our research we determined that if someone were using a mobile phone, their response time would be delayed by as much as 1.5 seconds. This could mean the difference between life and death in an accident.”

Saad has also been researching different ways of using virtual reality in the property marketing sector as part of his cutting edge work at ThinkBDW. “This is actually how my PhD came about in 2014. For many years we have been using virtual reality technology (VR) including Oculus Rift at ThinkBDW, which put us way ahead of many competitors.

It’s a brilliant technology for our sectors – most agencies only use CGIs and flythrough animations, but VR puts you right in the room and you can change your location without having to take a single step; that’s perfect for the property sector.”