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MIT and Toyota researchers designed a model that weighs various uncertainties and risks to help autonomous vehicles determine when it’s safe to merge into traffic at intersections with objects obstructing views such as buildings blocking the line of sight. (Image courtesy of the researchers)

MIT and Toyota researchers have designed a new model to help autonomous vehicles determine when it’s safe to merge into traffic at intersections with obstructed views. The model uses its own uncertainty to estimate the risk of potential collisions or other traffic disruptions at such intersections. Based on the measured risk, the system may advise the car to stop, pull into traffic, or nudge forward to gather more data.

The model would serve as a supplemental risk metric that an autonomous vehicle system can use to better reason about driving through intersections safely.

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