This paper introduces a novel numerical approach to achieving smooth lane-change trajectories in autonomous driving scenarios. Our trajectory generation approach leverages particle swarm optimization (PSO) techniques, incorporating Neural Network (NN) predictions for trajectory refinement. The generation of smooth and dynamically feasible trajectories for the lane change maneuver is facilitated by combining polynomial curve fitting with particle propagation, which can account for vehicle dynamics. The proposed planning algorithm is capable of determining feasible trajectories with real-time computation capability. We conduct comparative analyses with two baseline methods for lane changing, involving analytic solutions and heuristic techniques in numerical simulations. The simulation results validate the efficacy and effectiveness of our proposed approach.
Smooth and safe speed planning is imperative for the successful deployment of autonomous vehicles. This paper presents a mathematical formulation for the optimal speed planning of autonomous driving, which has been validated in high-fidelity simulations and real-road demonstrations with practical constraints. The algorithm explores the inter-traffic gaps in the time and space domain using a breadth-first search. For each gap, quadratic programming finds an optimal speed profile, synchronizing the time and space pair along with dynamic obstacles. Qualitative and quantitative analysis in Carla is reported to discuss the smoothness and robustness of the proposed algorithm. Finally, we present a road demonstration result for urban city driving.
Deep reinforcement learning (DRL) provides a promising way for intelligent agents (e.g., autonomous vehicles) to learn to navigate complex scenarios. However, DRL with neural networks as function approximators is typically considered a black box with little explainability and often suffers from suboptimal performance, especially for autonomous navigation in highly interactive multi-agent environments. To address these issues, we propose three auxiliary tasks with spatio-temporal relational reasoning and integrate them into the standard DRL framework, which improves the decision making performance and provides explainable intermediate indicators. We propose to explicitly infer the internal states (i.e., traits and intentions) of surrounding agents (e.g., human drivers) as well as to predict their future trajectories in the situations with and without the ego agent through counterfactual reasoning. These auxiliary tasks provide additional supervision signals to infer the behavior patterns of other interactive agents. Multiple variants of framework integration strategies are compared. We also employ a spatio-temporal graph neural network to encode relations between dynamic entities, which enhances both internal state inference and decision making of the ego agent. Moreover, we propose an interactivity estimation mechanism based on the difference between predicted trajectories in these two situations, which indicates the degree of influence of the ego agent on other agents. To validate the proposed method, we design an intersection driving simulator based on the Intelligent Intersection Driver Model (IIDM) that simulates vehicles and pedestrians. Our approach achieves robust and state-of-the-art performance in terms of standard evaluation metrics and provides explainable intermediate indicators (i.e., internal states, and interactivity scores) for decision making.
We propose a risk-aware crash mitigation system (RCMS), to augment any existing motion planner (MP), that enables an autonomous vehicle to perform evasive maneuvers in high-risk situations and minimize the severity of collision if a crash is inevitable. In order to facilitate a smooth transition between RCMS and MP, we develop a novel activation mechanism that combines instantaneous as well as predictive collision risk evaluation strategies in a unified hysteresis-band approach. For trajectory planning, we deploy a modular receding horizon optimization-based approach that minimizes a smooth situational risk profile, while adhering to the physical road limits as well as vehicular actuator limits. We demonstrate the performance of our approach in a simulation environment.
* Presented at the 26th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent
Transportation Systems (ITSC) 2023, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain
Although deep reinforcement learning (DRL) has shown promising results for autonomous navigation in interactive traffic scenarios, existing work typically adopts a fixed behavior policy to control social vehicles in the training environment. This may cause the learned driving policy to overfit the environment, making it difficult to interact well with vehicles with different, unseen behaviors. In this work, we introduce an efficient method to train diverse driving policies for social vehicles as a single meta-policy. By randomizing the interaction-based reward functions of social vehicles, we can generate diverse objectives and efficiently train the meta-policy through guiding policies that achieve specific objectives. We further propose a training strategy to enhance the robustness of the ego vehicle's driving policy using the environment where social vehicles are controlled by the learned meta-policy. Our method successfully learns an ego driving policy that generalizes well to unseen situations with out-of-distribution (OOD) social agents' behaviors in a challenging uncontrolled T-intersection scenario.
This paper proposes a hierarchical autonomous vehicle navigation architecture, composed of a high-level speed and lane advisory system (SLAS) coupled with low-level trajectory generation and trajectory following modules. Specifically, we target a multi-lane highway driving scenario where an autonomous ego vehicle navigates in traffic. We propose a novel receding horizon mixed-integer optimization based method for SLAS with the objective to minimize travel time while accounting for passenger comfort. We further incorporate various modifications in the proposed approach to improve the overall computational efficiency and achieve real-time performance. We demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed approach in contrast to the existing methods, when applied in conjunction with state-of-the-art trajectory generation and trajectory following frameworks, in a CARLA simulation environment.
* 2022 IEEE 61st Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), Cancun,
Mexico, 2022, pp. 6979-6986 * Presented at the IEEE 61st Conference on Decision and Control (CDC),
Cancun, Mexico, 2022
The ability to accurately predict the opponent's behavior is central to the safety and efficiency of robotic systems in interactive settings, such as human-robot interaction and multi-robot teaming tasks. Unfortunately, robots often lack access to key information on which these predictions may hinge, such as opponent's goals, attention, and willingness to cooperate. Dual control theory addresses this challenge by treating unknown parameters of a predictive model as hidden states and inferring their values at runtime using information gathered during system operation. While able to optimally and automatically trade off exploration and exploitation, dual control is computationally intractable for general interactive motion planning. In this paper, we present a novel algorithmic approach to enable active uncertainty reduction for interactive motion planning based on the implicit dual control paradigm. Our approach relies on sampling-based approximation of stochastic dynamic programming, leading to a model predictive control problem. The resulting policy is shown to preserve the dual control effect for a broad class of predictive models with both continuous and categorical uncertainty. To ensure the safe operation of the interacting agents, we leverage a supervisory control scheme, oftentimes referred to as ``shielding'', which overrides the ego agent's dual control policy with a safety fallback strategy when a safety-critical event is imminent. We then augment the dual control framework with an improved variant of the recently proposed shielding-aware robust planning scheme, which proactively balances the nominal planning performance with the risk of high-cost emergency maneuvers triggered by low-probability opponent's behaviors. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach with both simulated driving examples and hardware experiments using 1/10 scale autonomous vehicles.
* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:2202.07720
Accurately modeling the behavior of traffic participants is essential for safely and efficiently navigating an autonomous vehicle through heavy traffic. We propose a method, based on the intelligent driver model, that allows us to accurately model individual driver behaviors from only a small number of frames using easily observable features. On average, this method makes prediction errors that have less than 1 meter difference from an oracle with full-information when analyzed over a 10-second horizon of highway driving. We then validate the efficiency of our method through extensive analysis against a competitive data-driven method such as Reinforcement Learning that may be of independent interest.
The ability to estimate human intentions and interact with human drivers intelligently is crucial for autonomous vehicles to successfully achieve their objectives. In this paper, we propose a game theoretic planning algorithm that models human opponents with an iterative reasoning framework and estimates human latent cognitive states through probabilistic inference and active learning. By modeling the interaction as a partially observable Markov decision process with adaptive state and action spaces, our algorithm is able to accomplish real-time lane changing tasks in a realistic driving simulator. We compare our algorithm's lane changing performance in dense traffic with a state-of-the-art autonomous lane changing algorithm to show the advantage of iterative reasoning and active learning in terms of avoiding overly conservative behaviors and achieving the driving objective successfully.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) must share the driving space with other drivers and often employ conservative motion planning strategies to ensure safety. These conservative strategies can negatively impact AV's performance and significantly slow traffic throughput. Therefore, to avoid conservatism, we design an interaction-aware motion planner for the ego vehicle (AV) that interacts with surrounding vehicles to perform complex maneuvers in a locally optimal manner. Our planner uses a neural network-based interactive trajectory predictor and analytically integrates it with model predictive control (MPC). We solve the MPC optimization using the alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) and prove the algorithm's convergence. We provide an empirical study and compare our method with a baseline heuristic method.