Generating and Characterizing Scenarios for Safety Testing of Autonomous Vehicles

Extracting interesting scenarios from real world data as well as generating failure cases is important for the development and testing of autonomous systems. We propose efficient mechanisms to both characterize and generate testing scenarios using a state-of-the-art driving simulator. For any scenario, our method generates a set of possible driving paths and identifies all the possible safe driving trajectories that can be taken starting at different times, to compute metrics that quantify the complexity of the scenario.We test our method to characterize real driving data from the Next Generation Simulation (NGSIM) project, as well as adversarial scenarios generated in simulation. We rank the scenarios by defining metrics based on complexity of avoiding accidents and provide insights into how the AV could have minimized the probability of incurring an accident. We demonstrate a strong correlation between the proposed metrics and human intuition.

Authors: 
Zahra Ghodsi (New York University)
Siddharth Garg (New York University)
Publication Date: 
Thursday, November 5, 2020