Recent progress in autonomous driving has been fueled by improvements in machine learning. Ironically, most autonomous vehicles do not learn while they are in operation. If a car is used in the same location multiple times, it will act identically every single time. We propose to leverage and learn from repetition by allowing a neural network to save some of its activations in a geo-referenced data base that can be retrieved later on. If a vehicle is used in the same location multiple times, it builds up a rich data set of past network activations that aid object detection in the future. This allows it to recognize objects from afar when they are only perceived by a few pixels or LiDAR points. We further demonstrate that it is in fact possible to completely bootstrap an object detection classifier only based on repetition. Our approach has the potential to drastically improve the accuracy and safety of self-driving cars, enable them for sparsely populated areas, and allow them to adapt naturally to their local environment over time.
Kilian Weinberger is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Machine Learning and his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Computing from the University of Oxford. During his career he has won several best paper awards at ICML (2004), CVPR (2004, 2017), AISTATS (2005) and KDD (2014, runner-up award). In 2011 he was awarded the Outstanding AAAI Senior Program Chair Award and in 2012 he received an NSF CAREER award. He was elected co-Program Chair for ICML 2016 and for AAAI 2018 and currently serves as a board member and president-elect of the ICML society. In 2016 he was the recipient of the Daniel M Lazar '29 Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2021 he became a finalist for the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. Kilian Weinberger's research focuses on Machine Learning and its applications, in particular, metric learning, Gaussian Processes, computer vision, perception for autonomous vehicles, and deep learning. Before joining Cornell University, he was an Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and before that he worked as a research scientist at Yahoo! Research in Santa Clara.