Human-Like Decision Making for Autonomous Driving: A Noncooperative Game Theoretic Approach

Peng Hang, Chen Lv, Yang Xing, Chao Huang, Zhongxu Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)


Considering that human-driven vehicles and autonomous vehicles (AVs) will coexist on roads in the future for a long time, how to merge AVs into human drivers' traffic ecology and minimize the effect of AVs and their misfit with human drivers, are issues worthy of consideration. Moreover, different passengers have different needs for AVs, thus, how to provide personalized choices for different passengers is another issue for AVs. Therefore, a human-like decision making framework is designed for AVs in this paper. Different driving styles and social interaction characteristics are formulated for AVs regarding driving safety, ride comfort and travel efficiency, which are considered in the modeling process of decision making. Then, Nash equilibrium and Stackelberg game theory are applied to the noncooperative decision making. In addition, potential field method and model predictive control (MPC) are combined to deal with the motion prediction and planning for AVs, which provides predicted motion information for the decision-making module. Finally, two typical testing scenarios of lane change, i.e., merging and overtaking, are carried out to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed decision-making framework considering different human-like behaviors. Testing results indicate that both the two game theoretic approaches can provide reasonable human-like decision making for AVs. Compared with the Nash equilibrium approach, under the normal driving style, the cost value of decision making using the Stackelberg game theoretic approach is reduced by over 20%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9261984
Pages (from-to)2076-2087
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • autonomous vehicle
  • Decision making
  • driver model
  • game theory
  • human-like
  • model predictive control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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