Waymax: An Accelerated, Data-Driven Simulator for Large-Scale Autonomous Driving Research

Published: 26 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 Datasets and Benchmarks PosterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: simulator, autonomous driving, planning, behavior prediction, reinforcement learning, imitation learning
TL;DR: An autonomous driving simulator for behavior problems with hardware acceleration and intelligent out-of-the-box agents.
Abstract: Simulation is an essential tool to develop and benchmark autonomous vehicle planning software in a safe and cost-effective manner. However, realistic simulation requires accurate modeling of multi-agent interactive behaviors to be trustworthy, behaviors which can be highly nuanced and complex. To address these challenges, we introduce Waymax, a new data-driven simulator for autonomous driving in multi-agent scenes, designed for large-scale simulation and testing. Waymax uses publicly-released, real-world driving data (e.g., the Waymo Open Motion Dataset) to initialize or play back a diverse set of multi-agent simulated scenarios. It runs entirely on hardware accelerators such as TPUs/GPUs and supports in-graph simulation for training, making it suitable for modern large-scale, distributed machine learning workflows. To support online training and evaluation, Waymax includes several learned and hard-coded behavior models that allow for realistic interaction within simulation. To supplement Waymax, we benchmark a suite of popular imitation and reinforcement learning algorithms with ablation studies on different design decisions, where we highlight the effectiveness of routes as guidance for planning agents and the ability of RL to overfit against simulated agents.
Supplementary Material: pdf
Submission Number: 52