2023 Seed Award will explore safety of AI in air traffic control

Underside of a white plane as it takes off against a pale blue sky.

Ayush Pandey, an assistant teaching professor of electrical engineering at UC Merced and lead investigator on a 2023 CITRIS Seed Award, will work with UC Berkeley’s Gireeja Ranade to build safety guarantees into generative AI models designed to make air traffic control more efficient.

Unpredictable situations pose a major challenge to integrating AI into air traffic control. Pandey’s project seeks to improve public trust in these models and show how safe applications can support air traffic controllers, as they are backed by real-time data and reduce the need for human intervention. Their experimental research will consider worst-case scenarios to explore trade-offs between safety guarantees and system performance.

“Dr. Pandey’s groundbreaking work will help advance the safety of air traffic control through generative AI models. The innovations showcase the transformative impact these projects will have on the future of technology and society,” said Erin Hestir, director of CITRIS at UC Merced.

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