Oxbotica, the award-winning UK-based autonomous vehicle software company, has announced the release of its pioneering Dub4 camera-based localization software for autonomous vehicles, at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dub4 addresses a key challenge of autonomy: the question of where the vehicle is at any point in time. Currently running as the primary localizer on Oxbotica’s Geni driverless car prototype, and on the GATEway pods in Greenwich, London, the software uses a single stereo camera mounted on the car to determine its precise position and orientation in the world. With this localization information, the software is then able to create and navigate using vision-based maps in highly unstructured environments, without any reliance on GPS or expensive laser-based techniques.
Signaling a shift in driverless technology from expensive lasers or lidar systems to camera-based vision software, Dub4 is the first localization system to rely purely on camera technology. Developed by Oxbotica and the researchers at Oxford University’s Oxford Robotics Institute, Dub4 has been tested on thousands of miles of data across different cities, warehouses and off-road environments. The software automatically updates its model of the world to adapt to changing environmental conditions, such weather, lighting and seasons. Dub4 is robust where GPS technology is prone to failure, such as under tree cover, in urban canyons and indoors. Operating as a standalone application on commodity PC hardware, Dub4 can be integrated into any platform equipped with cameras and used to provide low-cost localization and navigation to applications ranging from warehousing to self-driving vehicles.
Winner of the prestigious Frost & Sullivan ‘Leaders in Autonomy Software 2016′ award, Oxbotica originated from the Oxford Robotics Institute, and focuses on mobile robotics and autonomous systems for use across a broad range of industries. The company works with a wide variety of automotive industry partners, and has over 70 modular pieces of mobile autonomy related IP (intellectual property), which range from patents, to software, to knowledge that can be integrated into customers’ products and applications to enable end-to-end autonomy solutions.
“We’re excited to be working on deployment of our class-leading Dub4 software solution, as part of our mission to achieve Level 4 autonomy by 2020,” explained Oxbotica’s chief executive officer, Graeme Smith. “What we’ve done with Dub4 has never been done before and it represents a seismic shift for the self-driving vehicle industry, enabling a move away from GPS and 3D laser-based approaches. We’re paving the way for more affordable and accurate solutions in the industry.”