Abstract

Deep networks trained on demonstrations of human driving have learned to follow roads and avoid obstacles. However, driving policies trained via imitation learning cannot be controlled at test time. A vehicle trained end-to-end to imitate an expert cannot be guided to take a specific turn at an upcoming intersection. This limits the utility of such systems. We propose to condition imitation learning on high-level command input. At test time, the learned driving policy functions as a chauffeur that handles sensorimotor coordination but continues to respond to navigational commands. We evaluate different architectures for conditional imitation learning in vision-based driving. We conduct experiments in realistic three-dimensional simulations of urban driving and on a 1/5 scale robotic truck that is trained to drive in a residential area. Both systems drive based on visual input yet remain responsive to high-level navigational commands. Experimental results demonstrate that the presented approach significantly outperforms a number of baselines.