Interaction-Aware Trajectory Prediction and Planning for Autonomous Vehicles in Forced Merge Scenarios

by   Kaiwen Liu, et al.
University of Michigan
Ford Motor Company

Merging is, in general, a challenging task for both human drivers and autonomous vehicles, especially in dense traffic, because the merging vehicle typically needs to interact with other vehicles to identify or create a gap and safely merge into. In this paper, we consider the problem of autonomous vehicle control for forced merge scenarios. We propose a novel game-theoretic controller, called the Leader-Follower Game Controller (LFGC), in which the interactions between the autonomous ego vehicle and other vehicles with a priori uncertain driving intentions is modeled as a partially observable leader-follower game. The LFGC estimates the other vehicles' intentions online based on observed trajectories, and then predicts their future trajectories and plans the ego vehicle's own trajectory using Model Predictive Control (MPC) to simultaneously achieve probabilistically guaranteed safety and merging objectives. To verify the performance of LFGC, we test it in simulations and with the NGSIM data, where the LFGC demonstrates a high success rate of 97.5 in merging.


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