A Novel Learning Framework for Sampling-Based Motion Planning in Autonomous Driving
Sampling-based motion planning (SBMP) is a major trajectory planning approach in autonomous driving given its high efficiency in practice. As the core of SBMP schemes, sampling strategy holds the key to whether a smooth and collision-free trajectory can be found in real-time. Although some bias sampling strategies have been explored in the literature to accelerate SBMP, the trajectory generated under existing bias sampling strategies may lead to sharp lane changing. To address this issue, we propose a new learning framework for SBMP. Specifically, we develop a novel automatic labeling scheme and a 2-Stage prediction model to improve the accuracy in predicting the intention of surrounding vehicles. We then develop an imitation learning scheme to generate sample points based on the experience of human drivers. Using the prediction results, we design a new bias sampling strategy to accelerate the SBMP algorithm by strategically selecting necessary sample points that can generate a smooth and collision-free trajectory and avoid sharp lane changing. Data-driven experiments show that the proposed sampling strategy outperforms existing sampling strategies, in terms of the computing time, traveling time, and smoothness of the trajectory. The results also show that our scheme is even better than human drivers.