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What is Ground Truth?

A self-driving vehicle is a complex technology built on a simple principle: The world it perceives must match the world as it really is. For creators of self-driving technology, the only way to know if the virtual and real worlds are in sync is through manually verifying that the virtual world aligns with human-defined measurements of accuracy  — using what engineers refer to as the “ground truth.”

In the context of a self-driving system, ground-truth data is most commonly used to train and validate the machine learning algorithms that comprise what is thought of as the “brain” of a self-driving vehicle. Ground truth can be obtained by a team of expert human annotators when the information processed by a self-driving vehicle’s sensors is consistent with what the naked eye sees. It’s the gold standard of verifying accuracy.

Ground Truth seeks to offer its readers the same gold standard by providing the most accurate and truthful information about the self-driving industry. Published by Argo AI, a self-driving product and services company, Ground Truth strives to be a credible voice in a space that is often filled with hype.

Written by experts with decades of collective experience in the self-driving industry, and journalists with automotive and technology backgrounds, the stories we share represent some of the best thinking and reporting on this revolutionary and rapidly evolving technology.Ground Truth is an inside look at the development and deployment of self-driving technology, from the test benches to simulation labs, and from closed test tracks to city streets.

We hope to educate and inspire discussion, to answer questions and dispel misconceptions, and to present the latest thinking and best practices guiding the development of self-driving vehicles.

The animated photos you see in select articles on the site are artistic renderings of how self-driving vehicles “see” the world. Toggle between the filters to check out three common types of sensors and what they do.