PeRL STUDIES AUTONOMOUS NAVIGATION & MAPPING FOR MOBILE ROBOTS IN A PRIORI UNKNOWN ENVIRONMENTS.

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Robust LIDAR localization using multiresolution Gaussian mixture maps for autonomous driving

Summary


Ryan W. Wolcott and Ryan M. Eustice, Robust LIDAR localization using multiresolution Gaussian mixture maps for autonomous driving. International Journal of Robotics Research, 36:292-319, 3 2017.

Abstract

This paper reports on a fast multiresolution scan matcher for local vehicle localization of self-driving cars. State-of-the-art approaches to vehicle localization rely on observing road surface reflectivity with a 3D light detection and ranging (LIDAR) scanner to achieve centimeter-level accuracy. However, these approaches can often fail when faced with adverse weather conditions that obscure the view of the road paint (e.g., puddles and snowdrifts), poor road surface texture, or when road appearance degrades over time. We present a generic probabilistic method for localizing an autonomous vehicle equipped with a three-dimensional (3D) LIDAR scanner. This proposed algorithm models the world as a mixture of several Gaussians, characterizing the z-height and reflectivity distribution of the environment---which we rasterize to facilitate fast and exact multiresolution inference. Results are shown on a collection of datasets totaling over 500 km of road data covering highway, rural, residential, and urban roadways, in which we demonstrate our method to be robust through heavy snowfall and roadway repavements.

Bibtex entry

@ARTICLE { rwolcott-2017a,
    AUTHOR = { Ryan W. Wolcott and Ryan M. Eustice },
    TITLE = { Robust {LIDAR} localization using multiresolution {Gaussian} mixture maps for autonomous driving },
    JOURNAL = { International Journal of Robotics Research },
    YEAR = { 2017 },
    MONTH = { 3 },
    VOLUME = { 36 },
    PAGES = { 292--319 },
}