Peter Stone's Selected Publications

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Replacing the Stop Sign: Unmanaged Intersection Control for Autonomous Vehicles

Mark VanMiddlesworth, Kurt Dresner, and Peter Stone. Replacing the Stop Sign: Unmanaged Intersection Control for Autonomous Vehicles. In AAMAS Workshop on Agents in Traffic and Transportation, pp. 94–101, Estoril, Portugal, May 2008.

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Abstract

As computers inevitably begin to replace humans as the drivers of automobiles, our current human-centric traffic management mechanisms will give way to hyper-efficient systems and protocols specifically designed to exploit the capabilities of fully autonomous vehicles. We have introduced such a system for coordinating large numbers of autonomous vehicles at intersections. Our experiments suggest that this system could alleviate many of the dangers and delays associated with intersections by allowing vehicles to ``call ahead'' to an agent stationed at the intersection and reserve time and space for their traversal. Unfortunately, such a system is not cost-effective at small intersections, as it requires the installation of specialized infrastructure. In this paper, we propose an intersection control mechanism for autonomous vehicles designed specifically for low-traffic intersections where the previous system would not be practical, just as inexpensive stop signs are used at intersections that do not warrant a full traffic light installation. Our mechanism is based on purely peer-to-peer communication and thus requires no infrastructure at the intersection. We present experimental results demonstrating that our system, while not suited to large, busy intersections, can significantly outperform traditional stop signs at small intersections: vehicles spend less time waiting and consume less fuel.

BibTeX Entry

@InProceedings{ATT08-vanmiddlesworth,
  author="Mark VanMiddlesworth and Kurt Dresner and Peter Stone",
  title="Replacing the Stop Sign: Unmanaged Intersection Control for Autonomous Vehicles",
  booktitle="{AAMAS} Workshop on Agents in Traffic and Transportation",
  address="Estoril, Portugal",
  month="May", year="2008",
  pages="94--101",
  abstract={
  As computers inevitably begin to replace humans as the drivers of
  automobiles, our current human-centric traffic management mechanisms
  will give way to hyper-efficient systems and protocols specifically
  designed to exploit the capabilities of fully autonomous vehicles.
  We have introduced such a system for coordinating large numbers of
  autonomous vehicles at
  intersections.  Our
  experiments suggest that this system could alleviate many of the
  dangers and delays associated with intersections by allowing
  vehicles to ``call ahead'' to an agent stationed at the intersection
  and reserve time and space for their traversal.  Unfortunately, such
  a system is not cost-effective at small intersections, as it
  requires the installation of specialized infrastructure.  In this
  paper, we propose an intersection control mechanism for autonomous
  vehicles designed specifically for low-traffic intersections where
  the previous system would not be practical, just as inexpensive stop
  signs are used at intersections that do not warrant a full traffic
  light installation.  Our mechanism is based on purely peer-to-peer
  communication and thus requires no infrastructure at the
  intersection.  We present experimental results demonstrating that
  our system, while not suited to large, busy intersections, can
  significantly outperform traditional stop signs at small
  intersections: vehicles spend less time waiting and consume less
  fuel.
  },
}

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