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A Software Architecture for Autonomous Vehicles: Team LRM-B Entry in the First CARLA Autonomous Driving Challenge

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The objective of the first CARLA autonomous driving challenge was to deploy autonomous driving systems to lead with complex traffic scenarios where all participants faced the same challenging traffic situations. According to the organizers, this competition emerges as a way to democratize and to accelerate the research and development of autonomous vehicles around the world using the CARLA simulator contributing to the development of the autonomous vehicle area. Therefore, this paper presents the architecture design for the navigation of an autonomous vehicle in a simulated urban environment that attempts to commit the least number of traffic infractions, which used as the baseline the original architecture of the platform for autonomous navigation CaRINA 2. Our agent traveled in simulated scenarios for several hours, demonstrating his capabilities, winning three out of the four tracks of the challenge, and being ranked second in the remaining track. Our architecture was made towards meeting the requirements of CARLA Autonomous Driving Challenge and has components for obstacle detection using 3D point clouds, traffic signs detection and classification which employs Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and depth information, risk assessment with collision detection using short-term motion prediction, decision-making with Markov Decision Process (MDP), and control using Model Predictive Control (MPC).


A Survey on Autonomous Vehicle Control in the Era of Mixed-Autonomy: From Physics-Based to AI-Guided Driving Policy Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This paper serves as an introduction and overview of the potentially useful models and methodologies from artificial intelligence (AI) into the field of transportation engineering for autonomous vehicle (AV) control in the era of mixed autonomy. We will discuss state-of-the-art applications of AI-guided methods, identify opportunities and obstacles, raise open questions, and help suggest the building blocks and areas where AI could play a role in mixed autonomy. We divide the stage of autonomous vehicle (AV) deployment into four phases: the pure HVs, the HV-dominated, the AVdominated, and the pure AVs. This paper is primarily focused on the latter three phases. It is the first-of-its-kind survey paper to comprehensively review literature in both transportation engineering and AI for mixed traffic modeling. Models used for each phase are summarized, encompassing game theory, deep (reinforcement) learning, and imitation learning. While reviewing the methodologies, we primarily focus on the following research questions: (1) What scalable driving policies are to control a large number of AVs in mixed traffic comprised of human drivers and uncontrollable AVs? (2) How do we estimate human driver behaviors? (3) How should the driving behavior of uncontrollable AVs be modeled in the environment? (4) How are the interactions between human drivers and autonomous vehicles characterized? Hopefully this paper will not only inspire our transportation community to rethink the conventional models that are developed in the data-shortage era, but also reach out to other disciplines, in particular robotics and machine learning, to join forces towards creating a safe and efficient mixed traffic ecosystem.


AI Research Considerations for Human Existential Safety (ARCHES)

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Framed in positive terms, this report examines how technical AI research might be steered in a manner that is more attentive to humanity's long-term prospects for survival as a species. In negative terms, we ask what existential risks humanity might face from AI development in the next century, and by what principles contemporary technical research might be directed to address those risks. A key property of hypothetical AI technologies is introduced, called \emph{prepotence}, which is useful for delineating a variety of potential existential risks from artificial intelligence, even as AI paradigms might shift. A set of \auxref{dirtot} contemporary research \directions are then examined for their potential benefit to existential safety. Each research direction is explained with a scenario-driven motivation, and examples of existing work from which to build. The research directions present their own risks and benefits to society that could occur at various scales of impact, and in particular are not guaranteed to benefit existential safety if major developments in them are deployed without adequate forethought and oversight. As such, each direction is accompanied by a consideration of potentially negative side effects.


A Review of Tracking, Prediction and Decision Making Methods for Autonomous Driving

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The models are updated using a CNN, which ensures robustness to noise, scaling and minor variations of the targets' appearance. As with many other related approaches, an online implementation offloads most of the processing to an external server leaving the embedded device from the vehicle to carry out only minor and frequently-needed tasks. Since quick reactions of the system are crucial for proper and safe vehicle operation, performance and a rapid response of the underlying software is essential, which is why the online approach is popular in this field. Also in the context of ensuring robustness and stability, some authors apply fusion techniques to information extracted from CNN layers. It has been previously mentioned that important correlations can be drawn from deep and shallow layers which can be exploited together for identifying robust features in the data.