Editor’s note: This article comes from the WeChat public account “Qubit” (ID: QbitAI), which is issued by Yufei Temple at 36 氪, with authorization.China’s first mobile AR real-time driving driving navigation was launched.It can follow the road to give path guidance, and there are three-dimensional arrow guidance at the turn: it can identify vehicles and pedestrians, and give a collision warning in time: night recognition, not to mention: Sogou map brings such a fresh experience.No need to buy extra expensive equipment, just a mobile phone, an app, you can experience it.Vision perception technology + navigation Traditional navigation and positioning is based on GPS and uses sensors such as gyroscopes and accelerometers to improve accuracy.With this accuracy, lane-level positioning is currently technically difficult to achieve.This is the reason why problems such as indistinguishability of main and auxiliary roads, and unclear directions at turning junctions are often encountered during the actual navigation of map software.However, there is one very common sensor that has not been fully utilized, and that is the camera.AR navigation is actually introducing visual perception technology into map navigation.With the heavy perception of vision, WYSIWYG becomes possible. In combination with GPS navigation, the horizontal and vertical positioning capabilities of the entire system will be improved to achieve lane-level recognition.Visual perception technology Prior to this, Sogou has a considerable accumulation of AI speech technology, but visual perception technology is not a research and development focus.In order to allow the product to land quickly, Sogou Maps chose to walk on two legs: on the one hand, it invested in self-developed computer vision technology; on the other hand, it cooperated with map vendors such as mapbox to develop.At present, in terms of algorithm performance, Kong Xianglai, general manager of Sogou Maps, said that the recall rate is over 90% and the accuracy rate is close to 90%.In the Sogou Map App 10.6 version released on December 27, 2019 across the entire network, through the introduction of lane line recognition, object recognition, semantic segmentation, AR overlay and other technologies, Sogou Map AR navigation has realized turning guidance, collision warning and other functionsAnd the road can be clearly identified during the day and at night, showing the effect.In the next step, lane-level positioning such as lane-level parallel guidance, main and auxiliary road switching recognition, and landmark, street sign, and scene recognition will be further advanced.Another feature of Sogou Maps AR navigation is that calculations are performed entirely locally, without the need to consume additional traffic.Kong Xianglai pointed out that local computing is the goal they set at the beginning, because with the current stage of technology, the video stream needs to be transmitted back to the cloud, and the model is decoded before the result is returned to the front end. The delay in this process, the networkThe requirements are not feasible for the application.The local computing requirements for hardware are not high. In Sogou’s test, iPhone 6s and above models can smoothly run AR navigation functions.That is, Apple A9, Snapdragon 650 and above chips can load local computing.Another consideration for secure fully local computing is security.Keeping user data locally protects user privacy to the greatest extent.In addition, since AR navigation is implemented on the mobile phone at this stage, what kind of interaction can avoid distracting users and improve the security level is also a problem that Sogou Map has been thinking about during the product launch.Kong Xianglai said that although the AR version has been released, it is far from the “final form”, and Sogou Map will continue to consider the rationality of interaction design.For example, in cooperation with car manufacturers, use a car camera or driving recorder to complete the collection, and use the main and auxiliary screen, ultra-wide screen display.Such a solution will be available to users in Q1 or Q2 this year.Why do you need AR navigation? In recent years, AR navigation has become a hot spot, and traditional map vendors such as Google, Baidu, Gaode, and Siwei Tuxin have entered the game.But Kong Xiang said that Sogou maps do AR navigation, not to be fashionable.But because in the user experience level, AR navigation will be a very important technical direction in the navigation field.First, AR navigation provides a new idea for map manufacturers to build high-precision maps.The traditional map surveying and mapping method is a professional team of map manufacturers who regularly scan the street and bring back data in accordance with certain operating procedures.This update speed is obviously not enough to meet the needs of Internet users.Using AR technology, adding the real scene recorded by the camera as a new data during the user’s use of map navigation will actually open the path for users to participate in the construction of high-precision maps.Costly situation.Of course, Sogou Map also emphasizes that data will not be transmitted back to the cloud without the user’s knowledge.When this function is opened in the future, the user will be informed and, on a voluntary basis, the user will be allowed to participate in the data collection task of the HD map.In this way, in the future map ecology, map merchants can obtain very high quality real-time data, and the cost of updating data will be greatly reduced.Users, as data providers, can also get actual benefits.The second is to activate the aftermarket and promote the growth of product lines and product added value of automotive hardware manufacturers.At present, many car owners have installed driving recorders in their cars.However, when many people think of using a recorder, it is often because of an accident or dispute. In normal times, the driving recorder is actually a “silent device”.When AR technology is introduced into navigation, the driving recorder can become the “eye” of navigation. Such a device with high market share but not high activity can be activated.In other words, AR navigation will bring a new model and growth to the aftermarket.Thirdly, for host manufacturers, the introduction of new navigation technologies such as AR navigation is urgently needed.Because in the past few years, the original software of the car factory has been suffering.Although the hardware in the car is good, the software cannot keep up.Kong Xianglai said: We insist that the tools should be made more pure and the map should return to its essence.For a long time, the biggest criticisms of users for map navigation software have been slow data update and insufficient navigation accuracy.Sogou Map wants to solve this problem from the application level. The most important thing is to introduce a new perception ability to navigation-vision.Why is Sogou?There is no doubt that AI is sweeping everything and transforming everything.Sogou has repeatedly proved its strength in the global competition in the field of language semantics.Because of AR navigation, a strong understanding of speech and semantics is also required behind the scenes, and the car scene is one of the best areas for vertical landing.Long before AR navigation, Sogou introduced smart voice co-driving products.Now, with the help of vision + navigation, AR real-world driving navigation becomes a reality.And without the use of any third-party equipment, there is no additional cost, allowing users to get started as quickly as possible and experience new experiences brought by new technologies.So what changes will the introduction of AR technology bring to the entire map industry?Kong Xianglai admits that at this stage, AR navigation still crosses the river by feeling the stones, and no AR navigation is the “ultimate form”.Just like when social software was first introduced, no one knew what social software should be.But as products like Facebook and WeChat become the de facto standard, the form will become clear.There are many different understandings of what AR will be made of.But I think it will make a huge difference in the industry of the future.Because all aspects have been met.The launch of mobile AR real-time navigation is only the first step in Sogou map exploration.AR + AI, the general trend of course, this step, not only Sogou family is in the process.As one of the most promising new technology directions, AR carries the mission and hope of the next generation of interaction.There are Apple, Google, Microsoft outside and BAT Sogou inside, all of them are grabbing AR research and development and landing applications.In addition, the blessing of AI technology has further brought breakthroughs in image vision and semantic understanding. AR + AI seems to have only one killer product and application left to open up the situation.However, under the turmoil, there is currently no large-scale AR case in our real life. The two worlds that AR wants to connect-online virtual and offline physics, still lack the most important carrier medium.So there are endless exploration schemes, software and hardware carriers one by one, there were AR glasses before, but the actual application scenarios are still to be tested.Nowadays, Sogou ’s test of the “vehicle” scene seems to bring large-scale commercial feasibility. After all, the pain points and needs are obvious, and the vertical scene poses a relatively small technical long tail challenge.Although it can really detonate users and change the industry, it may have to be further tested by time.Give time, keep looking forward, the future may come faster than you think ~ What do you say?.