Probabilistic Vehicle Motion Modeling and Risk Estimation

  • Christopher Tay
  • Kamel Mekhnacha
  • Christian Laugier


The development of autonomous vehicles garnered an increasing amount of attention in recent years. The interest for automotive industries is to produce safer and more user-friendly cars. A common reason behind most traffic accidents is the failure on the part of the driver to adequately monitor the vehicle’s surroundings. This chapter addresses the problem of estimating the collision risk for a vehicle for the next few seconds in urban traffic conditions.

Current commercially available crash warning systems are usually equipped with radar-based sensors on the front, rear, or sides to measure the velocity and distance to obstacles. The algorithms for determining the risk of collision are based on variants of time-to-collision (TTC). However, it might be misleading in situations where the roads are curved and the assumption that motion is linear does not hold. In these situations, the risk tends to be underestimated. Furthermore, instances of roads which are not straight can be commonly found in urban environments, like the roundabout or cross-junctions.

An argument of this chapter is that simply knowing that there is an object at a certain location at a specific instance in time does not provide sufficient information to assess its safety. A framework for understanding behaviors of vehicle motion is indispensable. In addition, environmental constraints should be taken into account especially for urban traffic environments.

This chapter proposes a complete probabilistic model motion at the trajectory level based on the Gaussian Process (GP). Its advantage over current methods is that it is able to express future motion independently of state space discretization. Driving behaviors are modeled with a variant of the Hidden Markov Model. The combination of these two models provides a complete probabilistic model for vehicle evolution in time. Additionally a general method of probabilistically evaluating collision risk is presented, where different forms of risk values with different semantics can be obtained, depending on its applications.


Hide Markov Model Gaussian Process Hide State Autonomous Vehicle Lane Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Probayes SASInovalée Saint Ismier CedexFrance
  2. 2.e-Motion Project-TeamINRIA Grenoble Rhône-AlpesSaint Ismier CedexFrance

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