Autonomous vehicles are very good at carrying out the specific task of driving — as long as nothing in their path changes.
Brendan Juba, assistant professor of computer science and engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, is working to develop ways that a planning agent can help autonomous vehicles, robots or other devices that use machine learning can improve their understanding of the world.
The agent also will either provide a guarantee that either the operation is safe — or a warning is given that safety cannot be guaranteed. The work is funded by a three-year, $419,877 grant from the National Science Foundation. Through the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Juba is collaborating with Roni Stern, a faculty member in the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering at Ben-Gurion University in Israel.