Of Robotic Vehicles and Humans: Autonomy, Game Theory and Control by Professor Anouck Girard

Abstract: Autonomous vehicles have been the subject of increased interest in recent years in defense, industry and academia. Serious efforts are being pursued to address legal, technical, and logistical problems and make autonomous vehicles a viable option for broad ranges of applications. One significant challenge is the time and effort required for the verification and validation of the decision and control algorithms employed in these vehicles to ensure a safe and reliable experience.

For example, for driving, hundreds of thousands of miles of tests are required to achieve a well calibrated control system that is capable of operating an autonomous vehicle in an uncertain traffic environment where interactions among multiple drivers and vehicles occur simultaneously. Traffic simulators where these interactions can be modeled and represented with reasonable fidelity can help to decrease the time and effort necessary for the development of the autonomous driving control algorithms by providing a venue where acceptable initial control calibrations can be achieved quickly and safely before actual road tests.

In this talk, we present a game theoretic traffic model that can be used to model human-driven and autonomous vehicles and their interactions, test and compare various autonomous vehicle decision and control systems and calibrate the parameters of an existing control system. Our simulator is highly scalable and can handle several dozen interacting vehicles in near real time. We demonstrate applications to highway driving and intersections, and discuss extensions to other transportation domains.

Biosketch: Anouck R. Girard received the Ph.D. degree in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA, in 2002. She has been with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, since 2006, where she is currently an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering. She has co-authored the book Fundamentals of Aerospace Navigation and Guidance (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Her current research interests are in the control of advanced and increasingly autonomous vehicles operating in the space, air, ground and marine domains. Dr. Girard was a recipient of the Silver Shaft Teaching Award from the University of Michigan and a Best Student Paper Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Date(s) - Feb 11, 2019
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

38-138 Engineering IV
420 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles CA 90095