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  • Having a Waymo Driver that can respond to things in the

  • real world as quickly as possible is really important for

  • safety critical situations. Hey, my name is Jonathan. I'm

  • a Product Manager at Waymo on the Perception team. O

  • work on machine learning models that allow the Waymo

  • Driver to see, hear, and understand the world around it.

  • Today, I'm going to be taking you through a case where the

  • Waymo Driver is driving through the Phoenix area and a

  • cat darts out from underneath the vehicle on the right.

  • Let's back up and see what went into it. The Perception

  • team's responsible for taking in raw data from things

  • like camera images, lidar point clouds, and radar

  • returns and turns them into logical concepts. Like there's

  • a person here at the crosswalk or there's a vehicle in

  • this lane traveling at 22 miles per hour. What we can see

  • on this camera view is the Waymo Driver cruising through

  • suburban Phoenix and on the right, all of a sudden, a cat

  • jumps out from underneath the vehicle. There's actually a

  • few challenging pieces about this case. One is that the

  • object is very small. Another is that it's moving at quite a

  • high speed and a third is that it's quite low to the ground

  • The key thing I want to highlight here is actually how

  • little time the Waymo Driver needs to react. In this case,

  • that would mean the time between the cat appearing up from

  • underneath the vehicle to the time at which we started

  • applying brakes for it. It's especially challenging

  • because we have an occlusion. There are lots of challenges

  • that come with building a low latency perception system

  • like this. One way that we try to do this is by

  • reporting objects as quickly as possible. Even when our

  • detectors aren't quite ready to say what it is yet. By

  • doing this, we allow downstream components like planner to

  • know that there's an object there earlier instead of

  • waiting for a more detailed object confirmation. In this

  • example, we're able to react in less than half a second

  • which thankfully was fast enough to allow the cat to

  • safely cross. Part of building the safest driver means that

  • we want to build a reliable, consistent, and responsive

  • driving system. How do I feel about cats? I'm slightly

  • allergic to cats, actually.

Having a Waymo Driver that can respond to things in the

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B1 US driver vehicle perception object phoenix challenging

Let’s Back Up: Cat Crossing

  • 7 1
    joey joey posted on 2021/05/24
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