Ridesharing firm Lyft announced this week that as it works to solve the challenge of autonomous vehicles, it is releasing a subset of its autonomous driving data, the Level 5 Dataset, which it says is the largest publicly released dataset of its kind.
By making its research data on autonomous driving available to others, Lyft hopes to ‘help level the playing field’ for all researchers interested in autonomous technology, said the company.
Lyft Level 5 has been working on autonomous technology for a number of years, but believes the challenge is “too big – and too important” for any one team to solve alone.
“This dataset allows a broad cross-section of researchers to contribute meaningfully to downstream research in self-driving technology, and this is only the first step,” said Luc Vincent, the company’s EVP of Autonomous Technology, in a blog post.
“We are committed to democratizing access to this tech, and we will release additional data as we continue on our journey.”
Lyft is also launching a competition to incentivise research into self-driving vehicles. The competition, for individuals to train algorithms on the dataset, will offer $25,000 in prizes and the opportunity to interview with the company. The dataset includes:
More than 55,000 human-labelled 3D annotated frames;
Data from seven cameras and up to three lidars;
A driveable surface map; and
An underlying HD spatial semantic map.
As Lyft invited researchers to join its efforts to develop self-driving cars that offer a viable alternative to car ownership, the company’s founder and CEO, Logan Green, reiterated Lyft’s commitment to this vision.
“Not only can self-driving tech save two lives every single minute, it is essential to combat climate change by allowing people to ditch their cars for shared electric transportation,” said Green. “Lyft is committed to leading this transportation revolution.”