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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 frojack on Friday May 25 2018, @07:52PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 25 2018, @07:52PM (#684171) Journal

    That lane change accidents don't cause that many deaths (simply because they happen at low relative speeds relative to each participant) , hardly justifies hand waiving them away as insignificant. They often tie up multiple lanes of traffic, cause injuries, and a lot of damage. Further more they have a habit of mushrooming into vehicle events involving more than the original two vehicles involved.

    The instant karma lane change you see quite often in Russian Dash-Cam videos is the jerk who tries to cut off a much larger vehicle, ends up doing the pit maneuver upon his own vehicle when his back end contacts the trucks front bumper, and he gets pushed sideways in front of the truck, and shoved down the highway for as long as the truck driver thinks he can get away with pretending an in-ability to stop his big rig.

    Nobody gets killed. But jerk gets his entire car bashed up, four tires ripped from rims, and gets a terror ride sideways down the highway.

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