Safe Occlusion-aware Autonomous Driving via Game-Theoretic Active Perception

Zixu Zhang, Jaime F. Fisac

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Autonomous vehicles interacting with other traffic participants heavily rely on the perception and prediction of other agents’ behaviors to plan safe trajectories. However, as occlusions limit the vehicle’s perception ability, reasoning about potential hazards beyond the field of view is one of the most challenging issues in developing autonomous driving systems. This paper introduces a novel analytical approach that poses safe trajectory planning under occlusions as a hybrid zero-sum dynamic game between the autonomous vehicle (evader) and an initially hidden traffic participant (pursuer). Due to occlusions, the pursuer’s state is initially unknown to the evader and may later be discovered by the vehicle’s sensors. The analysis yields optimal strategies for both players as well as the set of initial conditions from which the autonomous vehicle is guaranteed to avoid collisions. We leverage this theoretical result to develop a novel trajectory planning framework for autonomous driving that provides worst-case safety guarantees while minimizing conservativeness by accounting for the vehicle’s ability to actively avoid other road users as soon as they are detected in future observations. Our framework is agnostic to the driving environment and suitable for various motion planners. We demonstrate our algorithm on challenging urban and highway driving scenarios using the open-source CARLA simulator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRobotics
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Systems XVII
EditorsDylan A. Shell, Marc Toussaint, M. Ani Hsieh
PublisherMIT Press Journals
ISBN (Print)9780992374778
StatePublished - 2021
Event17th Robotics: Science and Systems, RSS 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 12 2021Jul 16 2021

Publication series

NameRobotics: Science and Systems
ISSN (Electronic)2330-765X


Conference17th Robotics: Science and Systems, RSS 2021
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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