/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Running Simulations to Train Analyses

We did versions of the same thing to get data that would create more detailed and thus useful models of industrial scenarios.    Especially useful if it hard to get enough running-sensing examples.      One value of all simulations is to create training examples that are too difficult or risky to create in the real world.

System Trains Driverless cars in simulation before they hit the road
Using a photorealistic simulation engine, vehicles learn to drive in the real world and recover from near-crash scenarios.

Rob Matheson | MIT News Office

A simulation system invented at MIT to train driverless cars creates a photorealistic world with infinite steering possibilities, helping the cars learn to navigate a host of worse-case scenarios before cruising down real streets.  

Control systems, or “controllers,” for autonomous vehicles largely rely on real-world datasets of driving trajectories from human drivers. From these data, they learn how to emulate safe steering controls in a variety of situations. But real-world data from hazardous “edge cases,” such as nearly crashing or being forced off the road or into other lanes, are — fortunately — rare.

Some computer programs, called “simulation engines,” aim to imitate these situations by rendering detailed virtual roads to help train the controllers to recover. But the learned control from simulation has never been shown to transfer to reality on a full-scale vehicle.

The MIT researchers tackle the problem with their photorealistic simulator, called Virtual Image Synthesis and Transformation for Autonomy (VISTA). It uses only a small dataset, captured by humans driving on a road, to synthesize a practically infinite number of new viewpoints from trajectories that the vehicle could take in the real world. The controller is rewarded for the distance it travels without crashing, so it must learn by itself how to reach a destination safely. In doing so, the vehicle learns to safely navigate any situation it encounters, including regaining control after swerving between lanes or recovering from near-crashes.  

In tests, a controller trained within the VISTA simulator safely was able to be safely deployed onto a full-scale driverless car and to navigate through previously unseen streets. In positioning the car at off-road orientations that mimicked various near-crash situations, the controller was also able to successfully recover the car back into a safe driving trajectory within a few seconds. A paper describing the system has been published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and will be presented at the upcoming ICRA conference in May. ... "

No comments: