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posted by chromas on Friday May 25 2018, @12:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-want-to-drive-in-the-other-lane;-I-want-to-merge-like-humans-do dept.

Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard

In the field of self-driving cars, algorithms for controlling lane changes are an important topic of study. But most existing lane-change algorithms have one of two drawbacks: Either they rely on detailed statistical models of the driving environment, which are difficult to assemble and too complex to analyze on the fly; or they're so simple that they can lead to impractically conservative decisions, such as never changing lanes at all.

At the International Conference on Robotics and Automation tomorrow, researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) will present a new lane-change algorithm that splits the difference. It allows for more aggressive lane changes than the simple models do but relies only on immediate information about other vehicles' directions and velocities to make decisions.

[...] One standard way for autonomous vehicles to avoid collisions is to calculate buffer zones around the other vehicles in the environment. The buffer zones describe not only the vehicles' current positions but their likely future positions within some time frame. Planning lane changes then becomes a matter of simply staying out of other vehicles' buffer zones.

[...] With the MIT researchers' system, if the default buffer zones are leading to performance that's far worse than a human driver's, the system will compute new buffer zones on the fly — complete with proof of collision avoidance.

Let me know when someone finds an algorithm that can deal with unknown situations as intuitively as human beings can. Until then...

Source: http://news.mit.edu/2018/driverless-cars-change-lanes-like-human-drivers-0523


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  • (Score: 2) by Snow on Friday May 25 2018, @03:20PM (3 children)

    by Snow (1601) on Friday May 25 2018, @03:20PM (#684046) Journal

    You are not entirely wrong.

    When people want to change lanes, they kinda weave around a bit. They drift toward one side of the lane. Other people can notice this (subconsciously or otherwise) and can create a gap. Sometime the gap creation is to let them over. Other times it's because they seem erratic and you want to give them space. Either way, a space is cleared and the car can move over.

    Another tactic is to just change lanes very slowly. No gap? No problem. Just kinda slowly drift over to where you want to be and most of the time it works out.

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  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday May 25 2018, @03:24PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Friday May 25 2018, @03:24PM (#684049)

    When people want to change lanes, they kinda weave around a bit. They drift toward one side of the lane. Other people can notice this (subconsciously or otherwise) and can create a gap.

    Maybe near you. Near me, people seem to have a love affair with the lane markers and like to keep their tires on one of them even when they're not thinking about changing lanes. This is one of the major reasons for my paranoia philosophy of driving: if you assume all drivers are intentionally trying to hit you at all times, you'll be surprised a lot less often.

    Being surprised is expensive

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @07:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @07:11PM (#684153)

    Another tactic is to just change lanes very slowly. No gap? No problem. Just kinda slowly drift over to where you want to be and most of the time it works out.

    Please paste a huge sign on your car that says "idiot" and never drive around this area. Thanks.

  • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Saturday May 26 2018, @10:50AM

    by deimtee (3272) on Saturday May 26 2018, @10:50AM (#684442) Journal

    Another tactic is to just change lanes very slowly. No gap? No problem. Just kinda slowly drift over to where you want to be and most of the time it works out.

    When I was having lessons for a heavy endorsement on my licence that is pretty much exactly what the instructor said.
    him: "Move into that lane" (a lane of bumper to bumper traffic, moving at about the same speed as my lane)
    me : (driving a large truck) "That lane is full, there's no space to move into."
    him: "Just indicate and move over slowly. They'll get out of your way."

    He was right, they did. Not sure if the large yellow [DRIVER UNDER INSTRUCTION] signs helped them make that decision.

    --
    No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.