Every second a self-driving vehicle is operating, it’s gathering information about the world around it. Cameras and LiDAR help it identify vehicles, pedestrians, signs and anything else that might be out in or near the streets, however, far more research will be needed before self-driving cars are a common sight on the roads.
To help the field of self driving cars advance even more, Ford is releasing a comprehensive self-driving data set to academics and researchers.
The data has been collected from a variety of self-driving vehicles over the time span of a year and includes information relating to LiDAR and camera sensor data, GPS and trajectory information, as well as 3D point cloud and ground reflectivity maps.
According to a medium post by Ford, “There’s no better way of promoting research and development than ensuring the academic community has the data it needs to create effective self-driving vehicle algorithms.”
Ford are not the first company to share valuable self-driving vehicle data. In August 2019 Waymo also shared data relating to self driving cars with the hopes that it would advance self-driving cars and AI as a whole. However, the amount of information Ford has released far outweighs that of Waymo.
Because Ford’s data was collected over an entire year, it includes a variety of valuable information like weather conditions, including rain, sun, clouds and snow. The data was gathered in the Metro Detroit area, so the vehicles experienced dense urban areas, highways, tunnels, residential neighborhoods, airports, construction zones and pedestrian activity.
The data has been made available through a collaboration with Amazon’s open data program, and more info can be found at avdata.ford.com.
Image: Ford media centre