Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Edge Cases and Autonomous Vehicle Safety -- SSS 2019 Keynote

Here is my keynote talk for SSS 2019 in Bristol UK.

Edge Cases and Autonomous Vehicle Safety

Making self-driving cars safe will require a combination of techniques. ISO 26262 and the draft SOTIF standards will help with vehicle control and trajectory stages of the autonomy pipeline. Planning might be made safe using a doer/checker architectural pattern that uses  deterministic safety envelope enforcement of non-deterministic planning algorithms. Machine-learning based perception validation will be more problematic. We discuss the issue of perception edge cases, including the potentially heavy-tail distribution of object types and brittleness to slight variations in images. Our Hologram tool injects modest amounts of noise to cause perception failures, identifying brittle aspects of perception algorithms. More importantly, in practice it is able to identify context-dependent perception failures (e.g., false negatives) in unlabeled video.

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