Robotics: Science and Systems III
Many urban navigation applications (e.g., autonomous navigation, driver assistance systems) can benefit greatly from localization with centimeter accuracy. Yet such accuracy cannot be achieved reliably with GPS-based inertial guidance systems, specifically in urban settings.
We propose a technique for high-accuracy localization of moving vehicles that utilizes maps of urban environments. Our approach integrates GPS, IMU, wheel odometry, and LIDAR data acquired by an instrumented vehicle, to generate high-resolution environment maps. Offline relaxation techniques similar to recent SLAM methods are employed to bring the map into alignment at intersections and other regions of self-overlap. By reducing the final map to the flat road surface, imprints of other vehicles are removed. The result is a 2-D surface image of ground reflectivity in the infrared spectrum with 5cm pixel resolution.
To localize a moving vehicle relative to these maps, we present a particle filter method for correlating LIDAR measurements with this map. As we show by experimentation, the resulting relative accuracies exceed that of conventional GPS-IMU-odometry-based methods by more than an order of magnitude. Specifically, we show that our algorithm is effective in urban environments, achieving reliable real-time localization with accuracy in the 10-centimeter range. Experimental results are provided for localization in GPS-denied environments, during bad weather, and in dense traffic.
Paper (PDF): Link