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Collaborative multiagent decision making for lane-free autonomous driving

Troullinos Dimitrios, Chalkiadakis Georgios, Papamichail Ioannis, Papageorgiou Markos

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Year 2021
Type of Item Conference Full Paper
Bibliographic Citation D. Troullinos, G. Chalkiadakis, I. Papamichail, and M. Papageorgiou, "Collaborative multiagent decision making for lane-free autonomous driving," in 20th Int. Conf. Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, 2021, pp. 1335-1343. doi: 10.48448/pxjq-9b34
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This paper addresses the problem of collaborative multi-agent autonomous driving of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) in lane-free highway scenarios. We eliminate the lane-changing task, i.e., CAVs may be located in any arbitrary lateral position within the road boundaries, hence allowing for better utilization of the available road capacity. As a consequence, vehicles operate in a much more complex environment, and the need for the individual CAVs to select actions that are efficient for the group as a whole is highly desired. We formulate this environment as a multiagent collaboration problem represented via a coordination graph, thus decomposing the problem with local utility functions, based on the interactions between vehicles. We produce a tractable and scalable solution by estimating the joint action of all vehicles via the anytime max-plus algorithm, with local utility functions provided by potential fields, designed to promote collision avoidance. Specifically, the fields have an ellipsoid form that is most suitable for lane-free highway environments. This novel use of max-plus with potential fields gives rise to a coordinated control policy that exploits only local information specific to each CAV. Our experimental evaluation confirms the effectiveness of our approach: lane-free movement allows for increased traffic flow rates, and vehicles are able to achieve speeds that are both high and close to their desiredones, even in demanding environments with high traffic flow.

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