Reconfigurable hardware platform for AI-based sensor data processing for autonomous driving

Sep. 01, 2019 to Aug. 31, 2022

The partners working on the research project “KI-FLEX” are developing a powerful, energy-efficient hardware platform and the associated software framework for autonomous driving. This “KI-FLEX” platform is being designed to process and merge data from laser, camera and radar sensors in cars quickly and reliably by using methods of artificial intelligence (AI; German abbreviation: KI). As a result, the vehicle always has an accurate picture of the actual traffic conditions, can locate its own position in this environment and, on the basis of this information, make the right decision in every driving situation – thus making autonomous driving safe and reliable.

Automated vehicles must be able to detect their surroundings precisely. To do this, the vehicle must know where the objects are and what type they are. Fraunhofer FOKUS uses 3D lidar point clouds to precisely locate and determine the orientation of traffic objects such as traffic lights, trees, and pedestrians. The research team combines these with image points from the camera and then uses image processing methods with neural networks to determine the exact type of objects (semantic segmentation). 

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS (lead of the consortium)
  • Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH
  • Infineon Technologies AG
  • videantis GmbH
  • Technical University of Munich (Chair of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Real-time Systems)
  • Daimler Center for Automotive IT Innovations (DCAITI)
  • FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg (Chair of Computer Science 3: Computer Architecture