Self-supervised Monocular Road Detection in Desert Terrain

TitleSelf-supervised Monocular Road Detection in Desert Terrain
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsDahlkamp, H.., Bradski, Gary., Kaehler, Adrian., Stavens, D.., and Thrun, Sebastian
Conference NameRSS
Date Published2006
Conference LocationPhiladelphia
AbstractWe present a method for identifying drivable surfaces in difficult unpaved and offroad terrain conditions as encountered in the DARPA Grand Challenge robot race. Instead of relying on a static, pre-computed road appearance model, this method adjusts its model to changing environments. It achieves robustness by combining sensor information from a laser range finder, a pose estimation system and a color camera. Using the first two modalities, the system first identifies a nearby patch of drivable surface. Computer Vision then takes this patch and uses it to construct appearance models to find drivable surface outward into the far range. This information is put into a drivability map for the vehicle path planner. In addition to evaluating the method’s performance using a scoring framework run on real-world data, the system was entered, and won, the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. Post-race log-file analysis proved that without the Computer Vision algorithm, the vehicle would not have driven fast enough to win.
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