A Multi-step Dynamics Modeling Framework For Autonomous Driving In Multiple Environments

by   Jason Gibson, et al.

Modeling dynamics is often the first step to making a vehicle autonomous. While on-road autonomous vehicles have been extensively studied, off-road vehicles pose many challenging modeling problems. An off-road vehicle encounters highly complex and difficult-to-model terrain/vehicle interactions, as well as having complex vehicle dynamics of its own. These complexities can create challenges for effective high-speed control and planning. In this paper, we introduce a framework for multistep dynamics prediction that explicitly handles the accumulation of modeling error and remains scalable for sampling-based controllers. Our method uses a specially-initialized Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) over a limited time horizon as the learned component in a hybrid model to predict the dynamics of a 4-person seating all-terrain vehicle (Polaris S4 1000 RZR) in two distinct environments. By only having the LSTM predict over a fixed time horizon, we negate the need for long term stability that is often a challenge when training recurrent neural networks. Our framework is flexible as it only requires odometry information for labels. Through extensive experimentation, we show that our method is able to predict millions of possible trajectories in real-time, with a time horizon of five seconds in challenging off road driving scenarios.


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