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Self-Driving cars are a long-lasting ambition for many AI scientists and engineers. In the last decade alone, many self-driving cars like Google Waymo, Tesla Autopilot, Uber, etc. have been roaming the streets of many cities. As a rapidly expanding field,

Self-Driving cars are a long-lasting ambition for many AI scientists and engineers. In the last decade alone, many self-driving cars like Google Waymo, Tesla Autopilot, Uber, etc. have been roaming the streets of many cities. As a rapidly expanding field, researchers all over the world are attempting to develop more safe and efficient AI agents that can navigate through our cities. However, driving is a very complex task to master even for a human, let alone the challenges in developing robots to do the same. It requires attention and inputs from the surroundings of the car, and it is nearly impossible for us to program all the possible factors affecting this complex task. As a solution, imitation learning was introduced, wherein the agents learn a policy, mapping the observations to the actions through demonstrations given by humans. Through imitation learning, one could easily teach self-driving cars the expected behavior in many scenarios. Despite their autonomous nature, it is undeniable that humans play a vital role in the development and execution of safe and trustworthy self-driving cars and hence form the strongest link in this application of Human-Robot Interaction. Several approaches were taken to incorporate this link between humans and self-driving cars, one of which involves the communication of human's navigational instruction to self-driving cars. The communicative channel provides humans with control over the agent’s decisions as well as the ability to guide them in real-time. In this work, the abilities of imitation learning in creating a self-driving agent that can follow natural language instructions given by humans based on environmental objects’ descriptions were explored. The proposed model architecture is capable of handling latent temporal context in these instructions thus making the agent capable of taking multiple decisions along its course. The work shows promising results that push the boundaries of natural language instructions and their complexities in navigating self-driving cars through towns.

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    Date Created
    2021
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    • Partial requirement for: M.S., Arizona State University, 2021
    • Field of study: Computer Science

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