Scaling ground-truth perception data with Scale

Embark works with Scale to create large volumes of sensor fusion data for their self driving trucks.

"Scale makes it easy to focus on developing leading self-driving technology rather than the operations of labeling data. The Scale platform provides the technology and operations to power our machine learning development and is our trusted training data solution."

Brandon Moak
EMBARK CTO
Company Details
  • IndustrySelf Driving Trucks
  • Product
    Sensor Fusion Cuboids
    3D Cuboid Annotation
  • LocationSan Francisco, USA
Overview

About Embark

You’re driving down the freeway and you come up to pass a transport truck, you happen to glance over and you notice something peculiar: the driver’s seat is empty.

This kind of sighting will soon be the norm as there’s currently a mad dash to get driverless transport category vehicles moving freight across the country.

Leading the haul — with the help of Scale —
is a quickly-growing company called
Embark.
The Solution

Training Data to Bet On

Embark’s trucks are always learning. Like any self-driving vehicle, they are fed a steady diet of training data —information the trucks can use to learn how to interpret various obstacles it sees. Embark initially managed its training data in-house but this turned out to be a suboptimal solution.

Not only was labeling obstacles a tedious, expensive, and time-consuming task, it was also prone to error. The team knew that this approach just wouldn’t scale. Instead, they wanted to focus on developing the parts of their business that really mattered: their trucks.

Scale solved this issue for Embark by providing them a seamless training data solution. The training data that Scale offers is labeled by a blend of both trusted individuals world-wide and machine learning algorithms which are strictly monitored for quality and detail.

By turning to Scale for training data, Embark saw huge payoffs immediately. Turn-around time for datasets was reduced to 5 business days and data quality improved to over 99%.

Both of these factors gave Embark much more confidence in their training data and more agility as a company.

"We have confidence that the data we get back will be of high quality"

Brandon Moak
EMBARK CTO
"What’s unique about Scale is how well we can communicate with them.
We can get ahold of them easily through Slack"

A Team to Rely On

Dealing with training data for self-driving transport trucks isn’t your run-of-the-mill task so posting questions for help on StackOverflow won’t yield many results.

Scale provides consistent top-notch support through a number of channels, including a direct Slack channels with engineers. Having access to training data domain experts enabled Embark to receive timely and effective advice throughout their initial integration and beyond.

Time is always of the essence when iterating. By relying on Scale’s managed training data solution, not only did Embark receive high-quality training data, they also got support and guidance from vetted engineers when it was most needed, with most questions being resolved within hours.

This has made a tremendous difference in Embark’s success.

For Embark, Relying on Scale Just Made Sense

No matter how well you streamline the process of labeling training data, a high cognitive load is still incurred. This was felt by Embark at every turn. By relying on Scale, integrating new training data became a much simpler task because they were able to use Scale’s intelligent tools to automate data integration.

Scale offers an intuitive API where companies like Embark can send and receive data with ease.

I’ve been most surprised by how easy it is to integrate with

Scale and Expertise Where it Matters

For Embark, receiving a steady stream of correctly labeled 3D data is crucial for business. Labeling LiDAR data is no easy task. It requires the right mix of hardware, software, and human expertise, making it tricky for even the most tech-capable organizations.

To ensure they would get the data they needed, Embark faced a big decision: either focus on scaling up LiDAR labeling capacity in-house or to look for that capacity in a 3rd-party product.

That’s where Scale came in, helping Embark scale data annotation with lower costs, higher quality, and fast turn-around, becoming a trusted partner for the majority of Embark’s LiDAR labeling needs.