Machine Learning for Motion Planning of Autonomous Vehicles — Interaction-Aware Motion Planning in Crowded Dynamic Environments

31 May 2022

Bruno Brito Motional

Robotic navigation in environments shared with other robots or humans remains challenging as the intentions of the surrounding agents are not directly observable. Moreover, interaction is crucial to enable safe and efficient navigation in crowded scenarios. Local trajectory optimization methods, such as model predictive control (MPC), can deal with those changes but require global guidance and trajectory predictions for the other agents, which is not a trivial problem in crowded scenarios. This presentation will present my recent work on learning-based methods to enhance local trajectory optimization methods. Firstly, I will introduce multimodal trajectory prediction models enabling autonomous vehicles with anticipatory behaviors. Secondly, I will present my research on learning interaction-aware policies to provide long-term guidance to a local trajectory optimization planner via deep Reinforcement Learning (RL). Our findings indicate that combining learning and optimization methods improves navigation performance substantially than solely learning or optimization-based motion planners in cluttered environments.

Bruno Brito is a Senior Research Scientist at Motional, a pioneer in driverless technology. Previously, he was a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Cognitive Robotics at the Delft University of Technology. He received the M.Sc. (2013) degree from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. Between 2014 and 2016, he was a trainee at the European Space Agency (ESA) in the Guidance, Navigation, and Control section. After, he was a Research Associate, between 2016 and 2018, at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation. Currently, his research is focused on developing motion planning algorithms bridging learning-based and optimization-based methods for autonomous driving among humans.