Enhancing motion safety by identifying safety-critical passageways

Christian Pek, Markus Koschi, Moritz Werling, Matthias Althoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


Safety is the most important aspect of systems which have to perform collision-free motions in dynamic environments. Formal verification methods, such as reachability analysis, are capable of guaranteeing safety for a given model and given assumptions (e. g. bounded velocity and acceleration). However, certain assumptions can be violated by dynamic obstacles during the execution of the verified motion plan, exposing the system to potential collisions. To compensate for the invalidated verification, this paper introduces the Point of No Return (PNR) and the Point of Guaranteed Arrival (PGA) by incorporating invariably safe sets. These concepts allow one to divide the planned trajectory into safe sections and safety-critical passageways. For the former, we are able to provide safety guarantees for an infinite time horizon. For the latter, we present a method to minimize such safety-critical passageways prior to execution and thus reduce the risk of potential collisions if assumptions are violated during execution. The safety benefits are highlighted by a numerical example of overtaking maneuvers of self-driving vehicles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control (CDC)
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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