Exploring the Limitations of Behavior Cloning for Autonomous Driving

Felipe Codevilla, Eder Santana, Antonio M. Lopez, Adrien Gaidon; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2019, pp. 9329-9338


Driving requires reacting to a wide variety of complex environment conditions and agent behaviors. Explicitly modeling each possible scenario is unrealistic. In contrast, imitation learning can, in theory, leverage data from large fleets of human-driven cars. Behavior cloning in particular has been successfully used to learn simple visuomotor policies end-to-end, but scaling to the full spectrum of driving behaviors remains an unsolved problem. In this paper, we propose a new benchmark to experimentally investigate the scalability and limitations of behavior cloning. We show that behavior cloning leads to state-of-the-art results, executing complex lateral and longitudinal maneuvers, even in unseen environments, without being explicitly programmed to do so. However, we confirm some limitations of the behavior cloning approach: some well-known limitations (e.g., dataset bias and overfitting), new generalization issues (e.g., dynamic objects and the lack of a causal modeling), and training instabilities, all requiring further research before behavior cloning can graduate to real-world driving. The code, dataset, benchmark, and agent studied in this paper can be found at github.com/felipecode/coiltraine/blob/master/docs/exploring_limitations.md

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author = {Codevilla, Felipe and Santana, Eder and Lopez, Antonio M. and Gaidon, Adrien},
title = {Exploring the Limitations of Behavior Cloning for Autonomous Driving},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {October},
year = {2019}