Waymo and Google Brain partner to advance data augmentation research

In order to advance its machine learning models and further improve its self-driving system’s perception, Waymo, the self-driving car service, has teamed up with colleagues from Google Brain, a deep learning artificial intelligence research team at Google, to extend its automated data augmentation research and test it against its dataset of autonomous driving.

“Data augmentation allows us to increase the quantity and diversity of data we observe without additional collecting or labelling costs. The principle behind augmenting data is simple. Let’s say you have a picture of a dog – by using various image augmentation operations such as rotation, cropping, image mirroring, colour shifting, etc., you can morph and transform the photo – but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s an image of a dog. These simple transformations turn one image of a dog into many, though determining which combinations of augmentation operations to use and applying them requires a lot of manual engineering,” Waymo wrote in a blog post.