Road Descriptors for Fast Global Localization on Rural Roads Using OpenStreetMap. Academic Article uri icon


  • Accurate pose estimation is a fundamental ability that all mobile robots must posses in order to navigate a given environment. Much like a human, this ability is dependent on the robot's understanding of a given scene. For autonomous vehicles (AVs), detailed 3D maps created beforehand are widely used to augment the perceptive abilities and estimate pose based on current sensor measurements. This approach, however, is less suited for rural communities that are sparsely connected and cover large areas. Topological maps such as OpenStreetMap have proven to be a useful alternative in these situations. However, vehicle localization using these maps is non-trivial, particularly for the global localization task, where the map spans large areas. To deal with this challenge, we propose road descriptors along with an initialization technique for localization that allows for fast global pose estimation. We test our algorithms on (real world) maps and benchmark them against other map-based localization as well as SLAM algorithms. Our results show that the proposed method can narrow down the pose to within 50 cm of the ground truth significantly faster than the state-of-the-art methods.

published proceedings

  • Sensors (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Ninan, S., & Rathinam, S.

complete list of authors

  • Ninan, Stephen||Rathinam, Sivakumar

publication date

  • September 2023