A major issue with systems for light detecting and ranging, more commonly known as LiDAR, is that this kind of technology typically depends on processing a huge amount of information.
LiDAR is used for myriad applications, from mapping unexplored regions to obtaining details about the distances between different objects. It’s commonplace today. Consumers may not even realize they are using LiDAR when they activate the distance-measuring laser of their iPhone to check a room’s dimensions, for example.
One of the more intriguing uses of mobile LiDAR is in self-driving vehicles, such as Tesla. But LiDAR sensors collect a torrent of data that can quickly overrun the processing capability of a car in transit. To address this problem, researchers at MIT are now using machine learning (a form of artificial intelligence) to deal with the computational burden.
MIT Ph.D. student Zhijian Liu and fellow researchers are feeding massive amounts of raw LiDAR data with GPS maps into a machine learning system. “In order to handle the heavy computational load of deep learning from massive LiDAR data quickly enough to enable real-time driving, the MIT researchers designed novel components for the deep learning model to better leverage GPUs,” according to Datanami.
Initial results from the researcher’s efforts demonstrate that machine learning can cut down on how often a person has to intervene, taking control from a self-driving car using LiDAR. Machine learning allows the system to run through multiple different scenarios, making predictions and testing them against real results to improve mobile LiDAR for navigation.
The vehicle drove successfully even when the researchers simulated sensor errors. “Much of this is due to the system’s bet-hedging: it estimates its certainty on any given prediction, then weights each prediction accordingly.”
Harnessing LiDAR for Your Organization
If you have a project requiring mobile LiDAR technology or would like to consult with experts about some other aspect of LiDAR, we’re ready to provide assistance. To learn more, please connect with ACI Corporation today.