Autonomous cars can perform poorly for many reasons. They may have perception issues, incorrect dynamics models, be unaware of obscure rules of human traffic systems, or follow certain rules too conservatively. Regardless of the exact failure mode of the car, often human drivers around the car are behaving correctly. For example, even if the car does not know that it should pull over when an ambulance races by, other humans on the road will know and will pull over. We propose to make socially cohesive cars that leverage the behavior of nearby human drivers to act in ways that are safer and more socially acceptable. The simple intuition behind our algorithm is that if all the humans are consistently behaving in a particular way, then the autonomous car probably should too. We analyze the performance of our algorithm in a variety of scenarios and conduct a user study to assess people's attitudes towards socially cohesive cars. We find that people are surprisingly tolerant of mistakes that cohesive cars might make in order to get the benefits of driving in a car with a safer, or even just more socially acceptable behavior.
Autonomous cars have to navigate in dynamic environment which can be full of uncertainties. The uncertainties can come either from sensor limitations such as occlusions and limited sensor range, or from probabilistic prediction of other road participants, or from unknown social behavior in a new area. To safely and efficiently drive in the presence of these uncertainties, the decision-making and planning modules of autonomous cars should intelligently utilize all available information and appropriately tackle the uncertainties so that proper driving strategies can be generated. In this paper, we propose a social perception scheme which treats all road participants as distributed sensors in a sensor network. By observing the individual behaviors as well as the group behaviors, uncertainties of the three types can be updated uniformly in a belief space. The updated beliefs from the social perception are then explicitly incorporated into a probabilistic planning framework based on Model Predictive Control (MPC). The cost function of the MPC is learned via inverse reinforcement learning (IRL). Such an integrated probabilistic planning module with socially enhanced perception enables the autonomous vehicles to generate behaviors which are defensive but not overly conservative, and socially compatible. The effectiveness of the proposed framework is verified in simulation on an representative scenario with sensor occlusions.
Prediction of pedestrian behavior is critical for fully autonomous vehicles to drive in busy city streets safely and efficiently. The future autonomous cars need to fit into mixed conditions with not only technical but also social capabilities. As more algorithms and datasets have been developed to predict pedestrian behaviors, these efforts lack the benchmark labels and the capability to estimate the temporal-dynamic intent changes of the pedestrians, provide explanations of the interaction scenes, and support algorithms with social intelligence. This paper proposes and shares another benchmark dataset called the IUPUI-CSRC Pedestrian Situated Intent (PSI) data with two innovative labels besides comprehensive computer vision labels. The first novel label is the dynamic intent changes for the pedestrians to cross in front of the ego-vehicle, achieved from 24 drivers with diverse backgrounds. The second one is the text-based explanations of the driver reasoning process when estimating pedestrian intents and predicting their behaviors during the interaction period. These innovative labels can enable several computer vision tasks, including pedestrian intent/behavior prediction, vehicle-pedestrian interaction segmentation, and video-to-language mapping for explainable algorithms. The released dataset can fundamentally improve the development of pedestrian behavior prediction models and develop socially intelligent autonomous cars to interact with pedestrians efficiently. The dataset has been evaluated with different tasks and is released to the public to access.
With the evolution of self-driving cars, autonomous racing series like Roborace and the Indy Autonomous Challenge are rapidly attracting growing attention. Researchers participating in these competitions hope to subsequently transfer their developed functionality to passenger vehicles, in order to improve self-driving technology for reasons of safety, and due to environmental and social benefits. The race track has the advantage of being a safe environment where challenging situations for the algorithms are permanently created. To achieve minimum lap times on the race track, it is important to gather and process information about external influences including, e.g., the position of other cars and the friction potential between the road and the tires. Furthermore, the predicted behavior of the ego-car's propulsion system is crucial for leveraging the available energy as efficiently as possible. In this paper, we therefore present an optimization-based velocity planner, mathematically formulated as a multi-parametric Sequential Quadratic Problem (mpSQP). This planner can handle a spatially and temporally varying friction coefficient, and transfer a race Energy Strategy (ES) to the road. It further handles the velocity-profile-generation task for performance and emergency trajectories in real time on the vehicle's Electronic Control Unit (ECU).
We survey research on self-driving cars published in the literature focusing on autonomous cars developed since the DARPA challenges, which are equipped with an autonomy system that can be categorized as SAE level 3 or higher. The architecture of the autonomy system of self-driving cars is typically organized into the perception system and the decision-making system. The perception system is generally divided into many subsystems responsible for tasks such as self-driving-car localization, static obstacles mapping, moving obstacles detection and tracking, road mapping, traffic signalization detection and recognition, among others. The decision-making system is commonly partitioned as well into many subsystems responsible for tasks such as route planning, path planning, behavior selection, motion planning, and control. In this survey, we present the typical architecture of the autonomy system of self-driving cars. We also review research on relevant methods for perception and decision making. Furthermore, we present a detailed description of the architecture of the autonomy system of the UFES's car, IARA. Finally, we list prominent autonomous research cars developed by technology companies and reported in the media.
Autonomous terrestrial vehicles must be capable of perceiving traffic lights and recognizing their current states to share the streets with human drivers. Most of the time, human drivers can easily identify the relevant traffic lights. To deal with this issue, a common solution for autonomous cars is to integrate recognition with prior maps. However, additional solution is required for the detection and recognition of the traffic light. Deep learning techniques have showed great performance and power of generalization including traffic related problems. Motivated by the advances in deep learning, some recent works leveraged some state-of-the-art deep detectors to locate (and further recognize) traffic lights from 2D camera images. However, none of them combine the power of the deep learning-based detectors with prior maps to recognize the state of the relevant traffic lights. Based on that, this work proposes to integrate the power of deep learning-based detection with the prior maps used by our car platform IARA (acronym for Intelligent Autonomous Robotic Automobile) to recognize the relevant traffic lights of predefined routes. The process is divided in two phases: an offline phase for map construction and traffic lights annotation; and an online phase for traffic light recognition and identification of the relevant ones. The proposed system was evaluated on five test cases (routes) in the city of Vit\'oria, each case being composed of a video sequence and a prior map with the relevant traffic lights for the route. Results showed that the proposed technique is able to correctly identify the relevant traffic light along the trajectory.
Self Driving Car technology is a vehicle that guides itself without human conduction. The first truly autonomous cars appeared in the 1980s with projects funded by DARPA( Defense Advance Research Project Agency ). Since then a lot has changed with the improvements in the fields of Computer Vision and Machine Learning. We have used the concept of behavioral cloning to convert a normal RC model car into an autonomous car using Deep Learning technology
Nowadays, autonomous driving cars have become commercially available. However, the safety of a self-driving car is still a challenging problem that has not been well studied. Motion prediction is one of the core functions of an autonomous driving car. In this paper, we propose a novel scheme called GRIP which is designed to predict trajectories for traffic agents around an autonomous car efficiently. GRIP uses a graph to represent the interactions of close objects, applies several graph convolutional blocks to extract features, and subsequently uses an encoder-decoder long short-term memory (LSTM) model to make predictions. The experimental results on two well-known public datasets show that our proposed model improves the prediction accuracy of the state-of-the-art solution by 30%. The prediction error of GRIP is one meter shorter than existing schemes. Such an improvement can help autonomous driving cars avoid many traffic accidents. In addition, the proposed GRIP runs 5x faster than state-of-the-art schemes.
Recently, autonomous driving development ignited competition among car makers and technical corporations. Low-level automation cars are already commercially available. But high automated vehicles where the vehicle drives by itself without human monitoring is still at infancy. Such autonomous vehicles (AVs) rely on the computing system in the car to to interpret the environment and make driving decisions. Therefore, computing system design is essential particularly in enhancing the attainment of driving safety. However, to our knowledge, no clear guideline exists so far regarding safety-aware AV computing system and architecture design. To understand the safety requirement of AV computing system, we performed a field study by running industrial Level-4 autonomous driving fleets in various locations, road conditions, and traffic patterns. The field study indicates that traditional computing system performance metrics, such as tail latency, average latency, maximum latency, and timeout, cannot fully satisfy the safety requirement for AV computing system design. To address this issue, we propose a `safety score' as a primary metric for measuring the level of safety in AV computing system design. Furthermore, we propose a perception latency model, which helps architects estimate the safety score of given architecture and system design without physically testing them in an AV. We demonstrate the use of our safety score and latency model, by developing and evaluating a safety-aware AV computing system computation hardware resource management scheme.