Autonomous Vehicles in the Cyberspace: Accelerating Testing via Computer Simulation



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Authors Abstract
We present an approach in which an open-source software infrastructure is used for testing the behavior of autonomous vehicles through computer simulation. This software infrastructure is called CAVE, from Connected Autonomous Vehicle Emulator. As a software platform that allows rapid, low-cost and risk-free testing of novel designs, methods and software components, CAVE accelerates and democratizes research and development activities in the field of autonomous navigation. CAVE is (a) heterogeneous and multi-agent, in that it supports the simulation of heterogeneous traffic scenarios involving conventional, assisted, and autonomous vehicles as well as pedestrians and cyclists; (b) open platform, as it allows any client that subscribes to a standard application programming interface (API) to remotely plug into the emulator and engage in multi-participant traffic scenarios that bring together autonomous agents from different solution providers; (c) vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication emulation ready, owing to its ability to simulate the V2V data exchange enabled in real-world scenarios by ad-hoc dedicated short range communication (DSRC) protocols; and (d) open-source, as the software infrastructure will be available under a BSD3 license in a public repository for unrestricted use and redistribution. CAVE provides three immediate benefits. First, it serves as a development platform for algorithms that seek to establish path planning policies for autonomous vehicles operating in heterogeneous traffic scenarios; i.e., it enables the rapid and safe testing of “work in progress” piloting computer programs (PCPs). Second, it enables auditing of existing path planning policies by exposing connected and/or autonomous vehicles to scenarios that would be costly, time consuming and/or dangerous to consider in real-world testing. Third, the CAVE will provide a scalable, high-throughput, virtual proving ground that exposes heterogeneous traffic complexity which would not otherwise emerge in actual single-vehicle testing conducted in controlled environments. We present early results of a test case in which 30 autonomous vehicles negotiate a busy intersection in Madison, WI, without the need of traffic lights, simply by using sensors and communicating via DSRC.
Meta TagsDetails
Negrut, D., Serban, R., Elmquist, A., Hatch, D. et al., "Autonomous Vehicles in the Cyberspace: Accelerating Testing via Computer Simulation," SAE Technical Paper 2018-01-1078, 2018,
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Apr 3, 2018
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Technical Paper