Rapidly Adapting Artificial Neural Networks for Autonomous Navigation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 3 (NIPS 1990)

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Dean Pomerleau


The ALVINN (Autonomous Land Vehicle In a Neural Network) project addresses the problem of training artificial neural networks in real time to perform difficult perception tasks. ALVINN ,is a back-propagation network that uses inputs from a video camera and an imaging laser rangefinder to drive the CMU Navlab, a modified Chevy van. This paper describes training techniques which allow ALVINN to learn in under 5 minutes to autonomously control the Navlab by watching a human driver's response to new situations. Using these techniques, ALVINN has been trained to drive in a variety of circumstances including single-lane paved and unpaved roads, multilane lined and unlined roads, and obstacle-ridden on- and off-road environments, at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.