ALBERTO BROGGI

President and CEO of VisLab srl e vincitore #SIOS15

Alberto Broggi is the General Manager at VisLab srl (a spinoff of the University of Parma,
acquired by Ambarella, Inc. in 2015) and a professor of computer engineering at the University
of Parma in Italy. Widely considered a leading pioneer in the use of machine vision for
automotive applications, Broggi has been actively engaged in autonomous driving research and
development for over twenty‐five years.
The roots of Broggi’s interest in automotive computer vision began in 1985 at the University of
Parma. Between 1985 and 1990, Broggi studied electronic engineering at the University,
earning a bachelor degree, after which he accepted a research position in the Information
Technology department, earning his doctorate in 1994. During this period, Broggi began to
consider the technical requirements, practical limitations, and societal implications of
autonomous driving on a wider scale. His initial interest and early explorations eventually led
Broggi to establish an artificial vision research group within the University, known as VisLab,
which pursued a series of formal research projects that culminated in groundbreaking test
events, many of which have become recognized milestones in the field of vehicular robotics.
For example, Broggi and the VisLab team conducted the MilleMiglia in Automatico test,
consisting of over 2,000 kilometers of autonomous driving on the roads of Italy in 1998, and
participated successfully in multiple DARPA Grand Challenges, prize competitions designed to
spur technology development for fully autonomous ground vehicles.
In the years that followed, Broggi joined the University of Pavia, becoming an associate
professor, and continued to maintain strong ties with the University of Parma, where he
became a full professor in 2005. In 2009, Broggi spun‐off the VisLab research group from the
University, with the goal of advancing autonomous driving technologies to the point of
mainstream adoption. As an independent entity, the VisLab team continued to push the
boundaries of driverless vehicle research under Broggi’s leadership, conducting the “VisLab
Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge” (13,000+ kilometers of autonomous driving from Italy
to China) in 2010, and the “Public Road Urban Driving” (PROUD) test in 2013, consisting of
downtown urban driving on public roadways without human intervention, a portion of which
was conducted with an empty driver’s seat.
Over time, as major technology companies worldwide began to take interest in the field of
autonomous driving, Broggi shifted the focus of VisLab from pure research endeavors towards
the rapid commercialization of its already‐mature, field‐tested vision technologies. In 2015,
under Broggi’s leadership, VisLab merged with Ambarella, Inc., a leading developer of low‐
power, high‐definition (HD) and Ultra HD video compression, image processing, and computer
vision solutions in Silicon Valley, to bring VisLab’s computer vision technologies to a low‐power
embedded chip.

Alongside his research and entrepreneurial efforts, Broggi served as Editor‐in‐Chief of the IEEE
Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems for five years, served in the IEEE Intelligent
Transportation Systems Society as President for two years, and has authored more than 200
publications in international scientific journals, many of which are considered seminal
references in the field. A frequent keynote speaker at computer vision‐related conferences,
Broggi is both an IEEE and IAPR Fellow, was awarded two European Research Council (ERC)
recognitions for his contributions to the development of perception for autonomous driving,
and in 2017 was honored with the IEEE Medal for Environmental and Safety Technologies “for
leadership in vehicular environmental perception, and for setting worldwide milestones in safe
and reliable intelligent vehicles.” In 2018, Popular Mechanics called Broggi’s patent for a self‐
driving car one of the “15 Patents That Changed the World.”