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Technical Steering Committee (TSC) Meeting #11 Minutes

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:00 PM

Attendees

  • Alfredo Bencomo (Open Robotics)
  • Geoffrey Biggs (AWF)
  • Leo Fang (Hesai)
  • Esteve Fernandez (Apex.AI)
  • Kenji Funaoka (TierIV)
  • Brian Holt (Parkopedia)
  • Dan Isaacs (Xilinx)
  • Shinpei Kato (AWF board)
  • Seonman Kim (LGE)
  • Taylor Lochrane (DOT)
  • Angelo Mastroberardino (Parkopedia)
  • Sathya Prasad Nanjundaiah (TCS)
  • Tsutomu Otake (Macnica)
  • Dejan Pangercic (Apex.AI)
  • Brian Shin (LGE)
  • Stephane Strahm (Kalray)
  • Daisuke Tanaka (Tier IV)
  • Akihiko Tsukuda (eSOL)
  • Josh Whitley (AutonomouStuff)

Minutes Geoffrey Biggs

Agenda

  1. Opening remarks and new member introductions
  2. Admin Confirmation of previous minutes
  3. Follow-up Action items from previous meeting
  4. Working group report Autoware
  5. Working group report Map formats
  6. Working group report ECU/Platform
  7. Working group report Simulation

Action items

  • Release the safety case example
  • Review the notice proposed to be added to the safety case example documents
    • All
  • Create working group wiki pages
  • Follow up on the use of the reference platform hardware in the AVP demo
  • Provide a backup plan for the AVP demo’s ECU
  • Get a summary of the LGSVL license review conclusions and make it publically available
  • List requirements for simulation and provide them to the TSC

Detailed minutes

Opening remarks and new member introductions (Board)

  • Taylor Lochrane, Federal Highway Administration of the DOT
    • Government Member
    • Developing their Carma programme and hoping to work with Autoware as they grow this across the US.

Confirmation of previous minutes (All)

  • Minutes approved.

Action items from previous meeting (All)

  • Release the safety case example
    • @Brian_Holt
    • Action taken Still can’t release, but the documents are in much better state. Now licensed as CC-BY 4.0; currently under review by the legal department which still needs a little convincing.
  • Create working group wiki pages
  • Post the Autoware software architect recruitment notice to any useful forums
    • AWF board
    • Action taken None
  • Provide HD Map for AutonomouStuff carpark
    • @Brian_Holt, @zelenkovsky
    • Action taken Map has been made available and a new version is going up today that irons out many bugs. The map format is Lanelet2. Plan to release several more maps soon along with Carla simulation environments. The end-goal of the Maps WG is Carla simulated environments using OpenDrive maps. A common maps repository is needed. (@gbiggs to create one.)

Notice in safety case example

Question for all TSC members: If the safety case example documents contain the following notice, are they still usable?

By using this safety report (“the Report”) produced by the Connected Places Catapult (“CPC”) you accept this disclaimer in full. The Report has been prepared in good faith on the basis of information, findings and analysis of our specific research activity entitled “Autonomous Valet Parking”. All information contained in the Report is provided “as is” and CPC does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information in the Report or its usefulness in achieving any particular outcome or purpose. CPC does not owe a duty of care to any third-party readers.
You are responsible for assessing the relevance and accuracy of the content of this publication. You must not rely on the Report as an alternative to seeking appropriate advice. and nothing in the Report shall to any extent substitute for consultation with an appropriately qualified advisor. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of the Report.
To the fullest extent permitted by law, CPC excludes all conditions, warranties, representations or other terms which may apply to the Report or any content in it, whether express or implied. CPC will not be liable to any user for any loss or damage, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, including without limitation loss of or damage to profits, sale business, revenue, use, production, anticipated savings, business opportunity, goodwill, reputation or any indirect or consequential loss or damage. Nothing in the Report excludes or limits CPC’s for any liability that cannot be excluded or limited by English law.
Any entity seeking to conduct autonomous vehicle trials will need to develop and publish a safety case specific to their own trials (as specified by the government’s Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) Code of Practice for Automated Vehicle Trialling) and gain permission to do so.

Working group report: Autoware

Autoware.AI

  • Merge Request registration deadline passed at the start of October.
  • Over 100 MRs were merged prior to the deadline.
  • 60 MRs remained to be reviewed and merged after the cut-off.
  • Making good progress towards getting all of them reviewed in time for the MR merge deadline at the start of November.
  • Tier IV will be doing in-car testing over the next two days. Further testing will be done in November.
  • AutonomouStuff will be doing in-car testing in November.
  • Target release date (December 3rd) is still on track.

Technical: Autoware.Auto

(With thanks to Apex.AI)

  1. IMU/GPS driver ready for merge after addressing Ito-san’s feedback: https://gitlab.com/autowarefoundation/autoware.auto/AutowareAuto/merge_requests/87
  2. Request community involvement in reviewing MRs in Autoware Auto
    1. Pending MRs on VehicleStateCommand and NDS/localization work:
      1. !99 - Fix typedefs in VehicleStateCommand and VehicleStateReport , update and add BoundingBox message definitions
      2. !97 - WIP: Resolve “Implement pure pursuit”
      3. !93 - [AWF14] Add note on general and localization metrics
      4. !90 - [AWF13] High level localization design doc
      5. !81 - [AWF12] Add literature review document on NDT matching
      6. !100 - Resolve " motion_model does not properly export Eigen dependency"
  3. Pure pursuit:
    1. Control design document : https://gitlab.com/autowarefoundation/autoware.auto/AutowareAuto/merge_requests/80
    2. We are working on porting to Autoware.Auto https://gitlab.com/autowarefoundation/autoware.auto/AutowareAuto/merge_requests/97
  4. MPC controller and planner in the works – planner and controller are functional, but features are being added in the coming months
  5. Planning the integration hackathon in Bay Area early 2020 should begin – shooting for end of March 2020

Community

  1. London Autoware.Auto hackathon with Parkopedia
  2. Autoware Meetup mid-September 2019: meetup had very good attendance of about 45-50 people and everything went very smoothly.
  3. Autoware presented at the ROS Meetup in Munich: https://twitter.com/ThiloZimmermann/status/1184162391929577472?s=19

Questions

  1. Who is going to work on NDT mapping for Autoware.Auto?
    1. https://gitlab.com/autowarefoundation/autoware.auto/AutowareAuto/issues/137
    2. https://gitlab.com/autowarefoundation/autoware.auto/AutowareAuto/issues/136
    3. https://gitlab.com/autowarefoundation/autoware.auto/AutowareAuto/issues/138
    4. https://gitlab.com/autowarefoundation/autoware.auto/AutowareAuto/issues/140

Working group report: Maps WG

Held 2 Autoware Maps WG meetings
26 September 2019: https://gitlab.com/autowarefoundation/autoware-foundation/wikis/Maps-Working-Group-Minutes-20190926
10 October 2019: Autoware Maps WG 10.10.2019 minutes

As a WG, we’ve made quite a lot of progress developing use cases for maps and creating requirements documents associated with those use cases. There are 2 logical next steps:

  1. Rationalise the Use Cases and Requirements into a single coherent set
  2. Begin work on the architecture that will fulfil these requirements

The architecture work seems to be more of the Autoware WG remit, so we’ve proposed to join the Autoware WG and generate agreement there before implementing the solution.

Discussion

  • Apex.AI: Is the Maps WG looking for use-case specific requirements, or requirements from the whole stack in general?
    • @Brian_Holt : The WG has plenty of use cases and requirements, the question now is, how do we fulfil these requirements?
  • Apex.AI: We need a software architect who can do that stuff and who has lots of experience in autonomous driving. We don’t have one, so we should focus on achieving the autonomous valet parking use case early next year, even if it is not the greatest architecture.
  • @Brian_Holt: It feels like the Maps WG has done a lot of work and achieved much, but it is not clear what we can do next due to other aspects of Autoware.Auto not progressing.
  • @Dejan_Pangercic: There are a few people who can at least provide feedback on an architecture, so get them involved.
  • @Brian_Holt: The next Maps WG meeting will work on a candidate architecture that we can take to the Autoware WG meeting.

Working group report: Reference Platform

  • Meeting every two weeks, with a two-meeting schedule (NA-friendly Asia-friendly)
  • First meeting was held on the 15th/16th of October, and was an introductory call.
  • Have listed the initial list of requirements for the platform and for the working group to start getting feedback.
  • Have described the initial reference platform which is intended as a starting point to kick-start discussion and work.
  • Need to focus now on creating requirements, and on attracting people to work on the reference platform.
  • What tool and process should we use for requirements management?
  • The initial reference platform is being worked on at Autocore.
  • The Reference Platform WG would like to have oversight of the Autoware.IO project.
    • In particular the interfaces for sensors such as cameras and LiDARs, etc. need to be determined; these may be out of scope of the reference platform WG but they are part of Autoware.IO.

Discussion

  • @gbiggs Hardware/Software[Autoware] interfaces at the ROS level are the scope of the Autoware WG (because they are part of the Autoware architecture), but the reference platform WG needs to be heavily involved.
  • @Dejan_Pangercic Is it feasible to have the hardware reference platform available by March next year for the AVP demo?
    • @sstrahm Yes, probably, but need to confirm with Autocore
    • @Dejan_Pangercic What is the backup plan if it is not ready? What we need is the Lexus vehicle equipped with sensors performing the AVP demo, and that vehicle needs a computer on which Autoware will run and the correct sensors.
    • @sstrahm Will follow up offline after confirming with @cheng.chen.
  • @Dejan_Pangercic We need a backup plan using a standard computer and Linux, or something like that. But ideally we want to use the reference platform with an RTOS.
  • @akihikotsukuda eSOL is not yet working on Autocore’s hardware for use with eMCOS, so we would like documentation on the hardware so we can look into beginning that work.
  • @shinpei0208 Is Autocore’s hardware currently the only available hardware for the reference platform? If it is a reference platform there should be more than one.
    • @sstrahm Currently Autocore’s is the only reference platform that has been proposed, and it is still being brought up.
  • @sstrahm will follow up on if the Autocore hardware will be ready and the backup plan if not.

Decisions

  • Autoware.IO will be looked after by the Reference Platform WG. Analogous to the Autoware working group looking after the Autoware.Auto project.

Working group report: Simulation

  • Second WG meeting was held. Discussed the simulation facilities required for the AVP use case.
  • Discussed features that a simulator should be judged on, including factors such as supporting a scenario format, being deterministic, and so on.
    • Next WG meeting will begin reviewing simulators according to each of these requirements in order to identify suitable simulators for the AVP use case.

Discussion

  • Apex.AI has decided to use LGSVL to demonstrate its technology at ROSCon and at CES. The goal is to show Apex.AI’s LiDAR data processing using a simulated environment. Setting up the demo was relatively easy and LGE provided good support. Apex.AI sees no reason not to use this simulator right away for the AVP use case. Can LGE volunteer to integrate the same demo based on Autoware.Auto (not the Apex.AI proprietry software)?
    • @bshin-lge We can look at it, but not yet clear what the integration work is that is required. There are several undecided points still, such as map format. Perhaps this is better work for the WG to do.
    • @gbiggs Reviewing simulators provides valuable information, but doing this sort of practical contribution is probably more immediately useful to the Foundation.
  • @bshin-lge Is there interest in Uber’s web-based visualisation tool?
    • @gbiggs This particular tool may not meet our needs, but the ROS community in general is heading in this direction so in the medium term expect to have options available we can just use.
  • @Brian_Holt Has the work to review the LGSVL license been completed and what was the outcome?
    • @Dejan_Pangercic We are using the simulator for demos where we can’t bring a vehicle which fits within the license.
    • @gbiggs The review did happen and the conclusion was that the license is legally not a problem but usability-wise not using a standard license makes it a bit annoying for users to be sure if the license is OK.
    • @bshin-lge The Unity license does not come into play unless you start acting as a Unity developer, i.e. you open a project and start making content to use with the simulator. Normal users targetted by LGSVL (using just the binary distributions) don’t have to make a payment to Unity.
    • @gbiggs to get the board to summarise their license review and make it available widely so that potential users of LGSVL can have peace of mind.

Concerns about simulator selection (@Dejan_Pangercic)

  • The Maps WG seems to be targetting Carla, but the AWF in general is preferring LGSVL. We need to get a demo/product out and simulation is a key enabler, but we are still talking about two simulators and not even one is being properly used. We must agree on one well-integrated and used simulator rather than having two simulators, neither of which is used properly. Whether this is Carla or LGSVL is not the problem, what is needed is choosing one and all using it.
  • @Brian_Holt The Maps WG has done all its work in the open, so there shouldn’t be any surprise in the route chosen (using Carla and OpenDrive). Also Autoware is supposed to be open to any simulator. Carla was chosen because it has the best support for maps, especially OpenDrive, as well as the overall ASAM toolchain for autonomous vehicles (OpenScenario, etc.).
  • The Simulation WG is aware of the need to support OpenDrive, OpenScenario, etc.
  • LGSVL is currently finishing up support for importing OpenDrive maps. LGSVL plans to support a scenario format but is not currently working on OpenScenario.
  • The Maps WG should inform the TSC and the next meeting what their requirements for simulation are.

@gbiggs @esteve @Brian_Holt regarding the " Notice in safety case example" - I have no problems with it and would love to read it.

I fully understand that CPC does not want to be liable. Other safety reports (e.g. the one from Uber also contain disclaimers.

Just to be clear, we are talking about a safety case such as you might hand to TuV for certification, not a safety report, which is made as much for public consumption as anything else.

The primary purpose of this documentation is to construct a safety plan to supply to a regulator (e.g. DfT in the UK) and which would be considered in court if there was serious incident during testing the automated vehicle. It’s purpose is to show that the risks have been considered and mitigated where possible.