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An algorithm developed at Caltech enables autonomous vehicles to determine their location simply by looking at the terrain around them. For the first time, the technology works regardless of season, its developers said.
The general process around which the current work (and algorithm) stems was developed in the 1960s and called visual terrain-relative navigation (VTRN). By comparing nearby terrain to high-resolution satellite images, autonomous systems can determine their location.
The problem with the current generation of VTRN is that the terrain must closely match the images in its database for the navigation method to work effectively. Anything that alters or obscures the environment, such as snow-cover or fallen leaves,…READ MORE