1. Ground-penetrating Radar
WaveSense’s technology sends an electromagnetic pulse into the ground and uses reflections of underground features to generate a basemap. These radio waves penetrate rain, fog, dust, and snow, and are safe for humans.
2. Detailed Mapping
Ground-penetrating radar measures reflections from objects and changes in soil properties deep in the ground, like pipes, roots, rocks, and dirt. Every inch of road has a unique subterranean composition, which allows WaveSense to build a highly-specific map.
3. PRECISE TRACKING
As a vehicle is driving, online localization occurs. The GPR scans the particles below the ground and an algorithm iteratively narrows in on the car’s exact location in five-dimensional space, based on constantly updated underground maps in WaveSense’s database.
See in 4D
Existing autonomous vehicle technologies seek to recreate the perfect human driver by emulating human vision and cognition. But autonomous vehicles can and must become safer than human drivers. Instead of imitating visual human driving, WaveSense’s ground-penetrating radar helps autonomous vehicles see what humans cannot: that which lies below the ground.
Ground-penetrating radar enables a whole new dimension of sight. With the addition of subsurface data to above-ground camera and LIDAR sensor information, self-driving cars now have a complete toolkit to work with when making driving decisions.
Safety is everyone’s #1 priority in the industry. Fusing several independent approaches—from cameras or LIDAR and GPS/INS to GPR—is the best way to ensure robustness, so that no one technology can cause a significant (and deadly) error.
Plays well with others
Ground-penetrating radar is not intended as a complete solution on its own. Instead, it has been designed to complement existing autonomous vehicles sensors, like camera, LIDAR, and radar. WaveSense is meant to fill in the gaps of above-ground sensor capability.
While above-ground sensor stack technologies have come a long way, they have struggled to keep vehicles reliably in lane. Driving in snow or bad weather is dangerous and effectively confines self-driving cars to sunny places. Poorly-marked lanes, changing road markers, or confusing tire tracks often require the human driver to intervene.
By adding WaveSense’s ground-penetrating radar to the suite of autonomous vehicle technologies, automakers can ensure a safer, more reliable drive—in any condition, anywhere.