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Learn to Steer through Deep Reinforcement Learning

School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Ave, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3650;
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 27 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
PDF [4097 KB, uploaded 5 November 2018]


It is crucial for robots to autonomously steer in complex environments safely without colliding with any obstacles. Compared to conventional methods, deep reinforcement learning-based methods are able to learn from past experiences automatically and enhance the generalization capability to cope with unseen circumstances. Therefore, we propose an end-to-end deep reinforcement learning algorithm in this paper to improve the performance of autonomous steering in complex environments. By embedding a branching noisy dueling architecture, the proposed model is capable of deriving steering commands directly from raw depth images with high efficiency. Specifically, our learning-based approach extracts the feature representation from depth inputs through convolutional neural networks and maps it to both linear and angular velocity commands simultaneously through different streams of the network. Moreover, the training framework is also meticulously designed to improve the learning efficiency and effectiveness. It is worth noting that the developed system is readily transferable from virtual training scenarios to real-world deployment without any fine-tuning by utilizing depth images. The proposed method is evaluated and compared with a series of baseline methods in various virtual environments. Experimental results demonstrate the superiority of the proposed model in terms of average reward, learning efficiency, success rate as well as computational time. Moreover, a variety of real-world experiments are also conducted which reveal the high adaptability of our model to both static and dynamic obstacle-cluttered environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: deep reinforcement learning; autonomous steering; depth image deep reinforcement learning; autonomous steering; depth image

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Wu, K.; Abolfazli Esfahani, M.; Yuan, S.; Wang, H. Learn to Steer through Deep Reinforcement Learning. Sensors 2018, 18, 3650.

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