Counterexample-Guided Safety Contracts for Autonomous Driving

Jonathan A. DeCastro, Lucas Liebenwein, Cristian Ioan Vasile, Russ Tedrake, Sertac Karaman, and Daniela Rus. Counterexample-Guided Safety Contracts for Autonomous Driving. In Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR), pages 1–16, Merida, Mexico, December 2018. link.

Published date: 
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ensuring the safety of autonomous vehicles is paramount for their successful deployment. However, formally verifying autonomous driving decisions systems is difficult. In this paper, we propose a framework for constructing a set of safety contracts that serve as design requirements for controller synthesis for a given scenario. The contracts guarantee that the controlled system will remain safe with respect to probabilistic models of traffic behavior, and, furthermore, that it will follow rules of the road. We create contracts using an iterative approach that alternates between falsification and reachable set computation. Counterexamples to collision-free behavior are found by solving a gradient-based trajectory optimization problem. We treat these counterexamples as obstacles in a reach-avoid problem that quantifies the set of behaviors an ego vehicle can make while avoiding the counterexample. Contracts are then derived directly from the reachable set. We demonstrate that the resulting design requirements are able to separate safe from unsafe behaviors in an interacting multi-car traffic scenario, and further illustrate their utility in analyzing the safety impact of relaxing traffic rules.