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How to Train Your Dragon - Making AVs Socially Aware
Bilal Farooq, Ph.D.,
Professor in Transportation Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Disruptive Transportation Technologies and Services
July 31st @ 10:00am

Automated vehicles will have to operate in dense urban environments where pedestrians, cyclists, and people with accessibility needs are regularly crossing the road. To make AVs more socially aware, a deep reinforcement learning based multi-objective training system is proposed.

The design of the system is formulated in a continuous action space and seeks to maximize both vulnerable road user's safety and perception as well as passenger's comfort. The vehicle agent is trained against a large naturalistic dataset containing pedestrian road-crossing trials in which respondents walk across an urban road under various traffic conditions in an interactive virtual reality environment.

Results show that the system is able to reduce the negative influence on passenger comfort by half while maintaining safe road operations.

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Bilal Farooq is Canada Research Chair in Disruptive Transportation Technologies and Services. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University and Founding Director of Laboratory of Innovations in Transportation. He has received the Early Researcher Award both in the province of Québec (2014) and Ontario (2018). Bilal is interested in understanding the network and behavioural effects of CAVs and in developing the associated algorithms, models, and solutions.

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