Abstract: An intelligent agent operating in the real-world must balance achieving its
goal with maintaining the safety and comfort of not only itself, but also other
participants within the surrounding scene. This requires jointly reasoning
about the behavior of other actors while deciding its own actions as these two
processes are inherently intertwined - a vehicle will yield to us if we decide
to proceed first at the intersection but will proceed first if we decide to
yield. However, this is not captured in most self-driving pipelines, where
planning follows prediction. In this paper we propose a novel data-driven,
reactive planning objective which allows a self-driving vehicle to jointly
reason about its own plans as well as how other actors will react to them. We
formulate the problem as an energy-based deep structured model that is learned
from observational data and encodes both the planning and prediction problems.
Through simulations based on both real-world driving and synthetically
generated dense traffic, we demonstrate that our reactive model outperforms a
non-reactive variant in successfully completing highly complex maneuvers (lane
merges/turns in traffic) faster, without trading off collision rate.