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"autonomous cars": models, code, and papers

Systematic Testing of Convolutional Neural Networks for Autonomous Driving

Aug 11, 2017
Tommaso Dreossi, Shromona Ghosh, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, Sanjit A. Seshia

We present a framework to systematically analyze convolutional neural networks (CNNs) used in classification of cars in autonomous vehicles. Our analysis procedure comprises an image generator that produces synthetic pictures by sampling in a lower dimension image modification subspace and a suite of visualization tools. The image generator produces images which can be used to test the CNN and hence expose its vulnerabilities. The presented framework can be used to extract insights of the CNN classifier, compare across classification models, or generate training and validation datasets.

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Probabilistic programs for inferring the goals of autonomous agents

Apr 18, 2017
Marco F. Cusumano-Towner, Alexey Radul, David Wingate, Vikash K. Mansinghka

Intelligent systems sometimes need to infer the probable goals of people, cars, and robots, based on partial observations of their motion. This paper introduces a class of probabilistic programs for formulating and solving these problems. The formulation uses randomized path planning algorithms as the basis for probabilistic models of the process by which autonomous agents plan to achieve their goals. Because these path planning algorithms do not have tractable likelihood functions, new inference algorithms are needed. This paper proposes two Monte Carlo techniques for these "likelihood-free" models, one of which can use likelihood estimates from neural networks to accelerate inference. The paper demonstrates efficacy on three simple examples, each using under 50 lines of probabilistic code.

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Talk2Car: Taking Control of Your Self-Driving Car

Sep 24, 2019
Thierry Deruyttere, Simon Vandenhende, Dusan Grujicic, Luc Van Gool, Marie-Francine Moens

A long-term goal of artificial intelligence is to have an agent execute commands communicated through natural language. In many cases the commands are grounded in a visual environment shared by the human who gives the command and the agent. Execution of the command then requires mapping the command into the physical visual space, after which the appropriate action can be taken. In this paper we consider the former. Or more specifically, we consider the problem in an autonomous driving setting, where a passenger requests an action that can be associated with an object found in a street scene. Our work presents the Talk2Car dataset, which is the first object referral dataset that contains commands written in natural language for self-driving cars. We provide a detailed comparison with related datasets such as ReferIt, RefCOCO, RefCOCO+, RefCOCOg, Cityscape-Ref and CLEVR-Ref. Additionally, we include a performance analysis using strong state-of-the-art models. The results show that the proposed object referral task is a challenging one for which the models show promising results but still require additional research in natural language processing, computer vision and the intersection of these fields. The dataset can be found on our website:

* 14 pages, accepted at emnlp-ijcnlp 2019 
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Experimental and causal view on information integration in autonomous agents

Mar 13, 2018
Philipp Geiger, Katja Hofmann, Bernhard Schölkopf

The amount of digitally available but heterogeneous information about the world is remarkable, and new technologies such as self-driving cars, smart homes, or the internet of things may further increase it. In this paper we present preliminary ideas about certain aspects of the problem of how such heterogeneous information can be harnessed by autonomous agents. After discussing potentials and limitations of some existing approaches, we investigate how \emph{experiments} can help to obtain a better understanding of the problem. Specifically, we present a simple agent that integrates video data from a different agent, and implement and evaluate a version of it on the novel experimentation platform \emph{Malmo}. The focus of a second investigation is on how information about the hardware of different agents, the agents' sensory data, and \emph{causal} information can be utilized for knowledge transfer between agents and subsequently more data-efficient decision making. Finally, we discuss potential future steps w.r.t.\ theory and experimentation, and formulate open questions.

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Cautious NMPC with Gaussian Process Dynamics for Miniature Race Cars

Nov 17, 2017
Lukas Hewing, Alexander Liniger, Melanie N. Zeilinger

This paper presents an adaptive high performance control method for autonomous miniature race cars. Racing dynamics are notoriously hard to model from first principles, which is addressed by means of a cautious nonlinear model predictive control (NMPC) approach that learns to improve its dynamics model from data and safely increases racing performance. The approach makes use of a Gaussian Process (GP) and takes residual model uncertainty into account through a chance constrained formulation. We present a sparse GP approximation with dynamically adjusting inducing inputs, enabling a real-time implementable controller. The formulation is demonstrated in simulations, which show significant improvement with respect to both lap time and constraint satisfaction compared to an NMPC without model learning.

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Cooperative Multi-Modal Localization in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Jul 16, 2021
Nikos Piperigkos, Aris S. Lalos, Kostas Berberidis, Christos Anagnostopoulos

Cooperative Localization is expected to play a crucial role in various applications in the field of Connected and Autonomous vehicles (CAVs). Future 5G wireless systems are expected to enable cost-effective Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X)systems, allowing CAVs to share with the other entities of the network the data they collect and measure. Typical measurement models usually deployed for this problem, are absolute position from Global Positioning System (GPS), relative distance and azimuth angle to neighbouring vehicles, extracted from Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) or Radio Detection and Ranging(RADAR) sensors. In this paper, we provide a cooperative localization approach that performs multi modal-fusion between the interconnected vehicles, by representing a fleet of connected cars as an undirected graph, encoding each vehicle position relative to its neighbouring vehicles. This method is based on:i) the Laplacian Processing, a Graph Signal Processing tool that allows to capture intrinsic geometry of the undirected graph of vehicles rather than their absolute position on global coordinate system and ii) the temporal coherence due to motion patterns of the moving vehicles.

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Dynamic Input for Deep Reinforcement Learning in Autonomous Driving

Jul 25, 2019
Maria Huegle, Gabriel Kalweit, Branka Mirchevska, Moritz Werling, Joschka Boedecker

In many real-world decision making problems, reaching an optimal decision requires taking into account a variable number of objects around the agent. Autonomous driving is a domain in which this is especially relevant, since the number of cars surrounding the agent varies considerably over time and affects the optimal action to be taken. Classical methods that process object lists can deal with this requirement. However, to take advantage of recent high-performing methods based on deep reinforcement learning in modular pipelines, special architectures are necessary. For these, a number of options exist, but a thorough comparison of the different possibilities is missing. In this paper, we elaborate limitations of fully-connected neural networks and other established approaches like convolutional and recurrent neural networks in the context of reinforcement learning problems that have to deal with variable sized inputs. We employ the structure of Deep Sets in off-policy reinforcement learning for high-level decision making, highlight their capabilities to alleviate these limitations, and show that Deep Sets not only yield the best overall performance but also offer better generalization to unseen situations than the other approaches.

* Accepted at IROS 2019 
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Probabilistic Semantic Mapping for Urban Autonomous Driving Applications

Jun 08, 2020
David Paz, Hengyuan Zhang, Qinru Li, Hao Xiang, Henrik Christensen

Recent advancement in statistical learning and computational ability has enabled autonomous vehicle technology to develop at a much faster rate and become widely adopted. While many of the architectures previously introduced are capable of operating under highly dynamic environments, many of these are constrained to smaller-scale deployments and require constant maintenance due to the associated scalability cost with high-definition (HD) maps. HD maps provide critical information for self-driving cars to drive safely. However, traditional approaches for creating HD maps involves tedious manual labeling. As an attempt to tackle this problem, we fuse 2D image semantic segmentation with pre-built point cloud maps collected from a relatively inexpensive 16 channel LiDAR sensor to construct a local probabilistic semantic map in bird's eye view that encodes static landmarks such as roads, sidewalks, crosswalks, and lanes in the driving environment. Experiments from data collected in an urban environment show that this model can be extended for automatically incorporating road features into HD maps with potential future work directions.

* 6 pages, 10 figures, submitted to IROS 2020 
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A*3D Dataset: Towards Autonomous Driving in Challenging Environments

Sep 17, 2019
Quang-Hieu Pham, Pierre Sevestre, Ramanpreet Singh Pahwa, Huijing Zhan, Chun Ho Pang, Yuda Chen, Armin Mustafa, Vijay Chandrasekhar, Jie Lin

With the increasing global popularity of self-driving cars, there is an immediate need for challenging real-world datasets for benchmarking and training various computer vision tasks such as 3D object detection. Existing datasets either represent simple scenarios or provide only day-time data. In this paper, we introduce a new challenging A*3D dataset which consists of RGB images and LiDAR data with significant diversity of scene, time, and weather. The dataset consists of high-density images ($\approx~10$ times more than the pioneering KITTI dataset), heavy occlusions, a large number of night-time frames ($\approx~3$ times the nuScenes dataset), addressing the gaps in the existing datasets to push the boundaries of tasks in autonomous driving research to more challenging highly diverse environments. The dataset contains $39\text{K}$ frames, $7$ classes, and $230\text{K}$ 3D object annotations. An extensive 3D object detection benchmark evaluation on the A*3D dataset for various attributes such as high density, day-time/night-time, gives interesting insights into the advantages and limitations of training and testing 3D object detection in real-world setting.

* A new 3D dataset by I2R, A*STAR for autonomous driving 
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A Survey on Deep-Learning Approaches for Vehicle Trajectory Prediction in Autonomous Driving

Oct 29, 2021
Jianbang Liu, Xinyu Mao, Yuqi Fang, Delong Zhu, Max Q. -H. Meng

With the rapid development of machine learning, autonomous driving has become a hot issue, making urgent demands for more intelligent perception and planning systems. Self-driving cars can avoid traffic crashes with precisely predicted future trajectories of surrounding vehicles. In this work, we review and categorize existing learning-based trajectory forecasting methods from perspectives of representation, modeling, and learning. Moreover, we make our implementation of Target-driveN Trajectory Prediction publicly available at, demonstrating its outstanding performance whereas its original codes are withheld. Enlightenment is expected for researchers seeking to improve trajectory prediction performance based on the achievement we have made.

* Accepted by ROBIO2021 
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