Monday, August 13, 2018

How Deep Learning Enables Autonomous Vehicles to Understand Their Environment

Humans are constantly taking in data from the world around them using five primary senses. You hear your phone ring, see a notification on your computer screen or touch something hot. However, without perception, there’s no way to decipher those inputs and determine what’s relevant. That you should answer the call, know there’s an email to respond to or pull away your hand before it’s burned.

Now imagine driving on a highway, where a constant stream of information surrounds you. From lane markings and street signs to lane-splitting motorcyclists, merging trucks and traffic jams — the ability to make instant, informed decisions is not just a skill, it’s an imperative. Just as perception enables humans to make instant associations and act on them, the ability to extract relevant knowledge from immediate surroundings is a fundamental pillar for the safe operation of an autonomous vehicle.