CarSNN: An Efficient Spiking Neural Network for Event-Based Autonomous Cars on the Loihi Neuromorphic Research Processor

07/01/2021
by   Alberto Viale, et al.
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Autonomous Driving (AD) related features provide new forms of mobility that are also beneficial for other kind of intelligent and autonomous systems like robots, smart transportation, and smart industries. For these applications, the decisions need to be made fast and in real-time. Moreover, in the quest for electric mobility, this task must follow low power policy, without affecting much the autonomy of the mean of transport or the robot. These two challenges can be tackled using the emerging Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs). When deployed on a specialized neuromorphic hardware, SNNs can achieve high performance with low latency and low power consumption. In this paper, we use an SNN connected to an event-based camera for facing one of the key problems for AD, i.e., the classification between cars and other objects. To consume less power than traditional frame-based cameras, we use a Dynamic Vision Sensor (DVS). The experiments are made following an offline supervised learning rule, followed by mapping the learnt SNN model on the Intel Loihi Neuromorphic Research Chip. Our best experiment achieves an accuracy on offline implementation of 86 drops to 83 implementation has maximum 0.72 ms of latency for every sample, and consumes only 310 mW. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first implementation of an event-based car classifier on a Neuromorphic Chip.

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