Google and Waymo used driverless cars to make a virtual San Francisco

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Software can analyse millions of static photographs taken in city streets and create a realistic 3D model that users can smoothly navigate



Technology



16 February 2022

Software can analyse millions of static photos of city streets taken atop cars and construct a realistic 3D model that could be used to create immersive maps or even train driverless cars safely in a virtual environment.

Block-NeRF was created by a team of researchers at driverless car company Waymo and Google Research, which are both owned by Alphabet. The tool uses vast numbers of photos taken by cameras mounted atop Waymo’s autonomous cars and builds numerous small 3D models, each covering just over one city block. These models are then seamlessly stitched together to create a large navigable …

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