Ranger: A Ground-facing Camera-based Localization System for Ground Vehicles

Kristopher Kozak and Marc Alban

Abstract: This paper presents an overview of the Ranger localization system and its constituent technologies and algorithms. Ranger is a high-precision localization system for ground vehicles that performs map-based localization using a ground-facing camera. Ranger uses commercially available hardware, including a camera, lights, and a computer, in combination with auxiliary localization sensors and a custom state estimator, to produce a complete high-precision positioning solution suitable for feedback control of an automated vehicle. Ranger was originally conceived and designed to address the accuracy and availability problems of GPS, and can operate independent from or as a supplement to GPS and other GNSS positioning systems. Ranger position measurements are made by matching live ground imagery to imagery stored in a map. The image matching process uses a feature-based approach that yields a high positive match rate with a vanishingly small false positive rate. The precision of the Ranger measurements is shown to be on the order of centimeters, and the actual lateral positioning performance of MARTI, one of Southwest Research Institute’s automated vehicles, autonomously driving a test route is shown to be repeatable over many runs to within 2 cm.
Published in: Proceedings of IEEE/ION PLANS 2016
April 11 - 14, 2016
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Savannah, GA
Pages: 170 - 178
Cite this article: Kozak, Kristopher, Alban, Marc, "Ranger: A Ground-facing Camera-based Localization System for Ground Vehicles," Proceedings of IEEE/ION PLANS 2016, Savannah, GA, April 2016, pp. 170-178.
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