Israeli startup Foretellix (Booth AV117) has been promoting its high-level scenario description language, which it only put into the public domain a month ago, at this week’s Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo in Novi. By the time the Expo had opened, M-SDL had already been downloaded by over 200 engineers from 120 different companies.
Applications engineer Budesh Patel explains, “We have been working with ASAM on standardizing this language, which is an abstract scenario description language that allows you to set up one description of a traffic scenario, parameterizing as many variables as possible. The language then allows you to randomly generate a lot of specific scenarios so that they can be driven through an execution platform – most likely a simulation.
“This way, we can randomize all the parameters and create thousands of variations of this scenario by randomly changing the parameters. This allows you to cover a bigger chunk of all the scenarios a vehicle might ever face. What’s more, because it’s randomized, there’s a greater chance of hitting the edge cases.”
Another major benefit of the language is that it makes it easier to generate coverage data, which can be analyzed to give a clear metric on how far the development has progressed.
Patel also notes that the new language fills a gap in the market: “Historically, there is a scenario description language, but it’s very specific and it’s XML based, so it’s not easily human readable. Consequently, all the OEMs, AV startups and ridesharing startups are interested, because everyone needs to make sure they’re covering as much of their scenario space as possible.”