The social behavior of autonomous vehicles

Lars Müller, Malte Risto, Colleen Emmenegger
2016 Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing Adjunct - UbiComp '16  
Deployment of autonomous vehicles on public roads promises increased efficiency and safety. It requires understanding the intent of human drivers and adapting to their driving styles. Autonomous vehicles must also behave in safe and predictable ways without requiring explicit communication. We integrate tools from social psychology into autonomous-vehicle decision making to quantify and predict the social behavior of other drivers and to behave in a socially compliant way. A key component is
more » ... key component is Social Value Orientation (SVO), which quantifies the degree of an agent's selfishness or altruism, allowing us to better predict how the agent will interact and cooperate with others. We model interactions between agents as a best-response game wherein each agent negotiates to maximize their own utility. We solve the dynamic game by finding the Nash equilibrium, yielding an online method of predicting multiagent interactions given their SVOs. This approach allows autonomous vehicles to observe human drivers, estimate their SVOs, and generate an autonomous control policy in real time. We demonstrate the capabilities and performance of our algorithm in challenging traffic scenarios: merging lanes and unprotected left turns. We validate our results in simulation and on human driving data from the NGSIM dataset. Our results illustrate how the algorithm's behavior adapts to social preferences of other drivers. By incorporating SVO, we improve autonomous performance and reduce errors in human trajectory predictions by 25%. autonomous driving | Social Value Orientation | social compliance | game theory | inverse reinforcement learning Significance We present a framework that integrates social psychology tools into controller design for autonomous vehicles. Our key insight utilizes Social Value Orientation (SVO), quantifying an agent's degree of selfishness or altruism, which allows us to better predict driver behavior. We model interactions between human and autonomous agents with game theory and the principle of best response. Our unified algorithm estimates driver SVOs and incorporates their predicted trajectories into the autonomous vehicle's control while respecting safety constraints. We study common-yet-difficult traffic scenarios: highway merging and unprotected left turns. Incorporating SVO reduces error in predictions by 25%, validated on 92 human driving merges. Furthermore, we find that merging drivers are more competitive than nonmerging drivers.
doi:10.1145/2968219.2968561 dblp:conf/huc/MullerRE16 fatcat:nryythr6p5bcjavhopwvpo6eji