Title: Towards Automated Safety Coverage and Testing for Autonomous Vehicles
The kind of closed-loop verification likely to be required for autonomous vehicle (AV) safety testing is beyond the reach of traditional test methodologies and discrete verification. Validation puts the autonomous vehicle system to the test in scenarios or situations that the system would likely encounter in everyday driving after its release. These scenarios can either be controlled directly in a physical (closed-course proving ground) or virtual (simulation of predefined scenarios) environment, or they can arise spontaneously during operation in the real world (open-road testing or simulation of randomly generated scenarios).
In AV testing, simulation serves primarily two purposes: to assist the development of a robust autonomous vehicle and to test and validate the AV before release. A challenge arises from the sheer number of scenario variations that can be constructed from each of the above sources due to the high number of variables involved (most of which are continuous). Even with continuous variables discretized, the possible number of combinations becomes practically infeasible to test. To overcome this challenge we propose using reinforcement learning (RL) to generate failure examples and unexpected traffic situations for the AV software implementation. Although reinforcement learning algorithms have achieved notable results in games and some robotic manipulations, this technique has not been widely scaled up to the more challenging real world applications like autonomous driving.
- Sebastian Elbaum (Chair)
- Madhur Behl (Advisor)
- Matthew Dwyer