Autonomous Driving: Simulation and Navigation

Abstract: Autonomous driving has been an active area of research and development over the last decade. Despite considerable progress, there are many open challenges including automated driving in dense and urban scenes. In this talk, we give an overview of our recent work on simulation and navigation technologies for autonomous vehicles. We present a novel simulator, AutonoVi-Sim, that uses recent developments in physics-based simulation, robot motion planning, game engines, and behavior modeling. We describe novel methods for interactive simulation of multiple vehicles with unique steering or acceleration limits taking into account vehicle dynamics constraints. In addition, AutonoVi-Sim supports navigation for non-vehicle traffic participants such as cyclists and pedestrians AutonoVi-Sim also facilitates data analysis, allowing for capturing video from the vehicle's perspective, exporting sensor data such as relative positions of other traffic participants, camera data for a specific sensor, and detection and classification results. We highlight its performance in traffic and driving scenarios. We also present novel multi-agent simulation algorithms using reciprocal velocity obstacles that can model the behavior and trajectories of different traffic agents in dense scenarios, including cars, buses, bicycles and pedestrians. We also present novel methods for extracting trajectories from videos and use them for behavior modeling and safe navigation.

Bio: Dinesh Manocha is the Paul Chrisman Iribe Chair in Computer Science & Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland College Park. He is also the Phi Delta Theta/Matthew Mason Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. He has won many awards, including Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, the NSF Career Award, the ONR Young Investigator Award, and the Hettleman Prize for scholarly achievement. His research interests include multi-agent simulation, virtual environments, artificial intelligence, and robotics. His group has developed a number of packages for multi-agent simulation, crowd simulation, and physics-based simulation that have been used by hundreds of thousands of users and licensed to more than 60 commercial vendors. He has published more than 510 papers and supervised more than 36 PhD dissertations. He is an inventor of 10 patents, several of which have been licensed to industry. His work has been covered by the New York Times, NPR, Boston Globe, Washington Post, ZDNet, as well as DARPA Legacy Press Release. He is a Fellow of AAAI, AAAS, ACM, and IEEE, member of ACM SIGGRAPH Academy, and Pioneer of Solid Modeling Association. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT Delhi the Distinguished Career in Computer Science Award from Washington Academy of Sciences. He was a co-founder of Impulsonic, a developer of physics-based audio simulation technologies, which was acquired by Valve Inc in November 2016.