Carmera Coffee Chat
This week we got to sit down with Jessica Ho '20, Mahd Aamir Khan '19, and Viraj Deokar '20 who are all working for Carmera this summer. Carmera is a Brooklyn-based startup that provides real-time HD maps and navigation-critical data to autonomous vehicles. Here are the questions we discussed with the group:
WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON AT CARMERA?
Jessica, Mahd, and Viraj are working together on lane detection for autonomous vehicles. Given a video feed, they are making a program that can determine which lane a car is in relative to the other lanes. For example, there might be four lanes running in each direction on a major highway. Their program must realize the number of lanes available and then determine which (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th) the car is driving in. Their main approach is to investigate the Robot Operating System (ROS) for possible modules that can be used with Carmera's swarm metadata and video feeds to make that distinction.
WHAT INSIGHTS ARE YOU HOPING TO GAIN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE THIS SUMMER?
With Carmera, Jessica hopes to learn more about the current research problems regarding autonomous vehicles and also become familiar with using ROS and Machine Learning techniques as used in practice. Mahd would like to learn more Contemporary Computer Vision and Machine Learning techniques as well. Viraj aims to learn about business plans for startups and the challenges small companies face, while simultaneously improving his coding abilities.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE HAS SURPRISED YOU THE MOST SO FAR?
When asked this question, the students' answers touched on a wide range of topics. Jessica said she was surprised by the difficulty of setting up and familiarizing herself with the company's operating systems and software—this took the interns almost the entire first week to accomplish. Both Viraj and Mahd expressed appreciation for the startup environment of Carmera. Mahd enjoys the feeling that his projects are important and actually have impact on the company's progress and Viraj likes how Carmera culture is both relaxed and intensely productive.
HAVE YOU FOUND A FAVORITE SPOT IN NEW YORK YET?
Both Jessica and Viraj have fallen in love with Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Mahd's favorite spot so far is the DUMBO rooftops. Jessica also mentioned that their Carmera office has an awesome rooftop view, which can be seen in the picture below.