Real-Time Decision Making by Driverless City Vehicles: A Discrete Event Driven approach

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Vlacic, Ljubo

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Paliwal, Kuldip

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This thesis addresses the topic of real-time decision making by driverless (autonomous) city vehicles, i.e. their ability to make appropriate driving decisions in non-simplified urban traffic conditions. After addressing the state of research, and explaining the research question, the thesis presents solutions for the subcomponents which are relevant for decision making with respect to information input (World Model), information output (Driving Maneuvers), and the real-time decision making process. TheWorld Model is a software component developed to fulfill the purpose of collecting information from perception and communication subsystems, maintaining an up-to-date view of the vehicle’s environment, and providing the required input information to the Real-Time Decision Making subsystem in a well-defined, and structured way. The real-time decision making process consists of two consecutive stages. While the first decision making stage uses a Petri net to model the safetycritical selection of feasible driving maneuvers, the second stage uses Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) methods to select the most appropriate driving maneuver, focusing on fulfilling objectives related to efficiency and comfort. The complex task of autonomous driving is subdivided into subtasks, called driving maneuvers, which represent the output (i.e. decision alternatives) of the real-time decision making process. Driving maneuvers are considered as implementations of closed-loop control algorithms, each capable of maneuvering the autonomous vehicle in a specific traffic situation. Experimental tests in both a 3D simulation and real-world experiments attest that the developed approach is suitable to deal with the complexity of real-world urban traffic situations.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

Degree Program

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Griffith School of Engineering

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Autonomous vehicles

Driverless city vehicles

Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM)

Real-time decision making

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