Introducing: PandaSet. The world's most advanced LiDAR dataset for commercial use

byon May 20, 2020

In these unprecedented times, COVID-19 has brought out a renewed and inspiring

sense of collaboration in AI and research communities as we work toward

solving pressing issues. But the pandemic has also exacerbated some of the

difficulties of developing new technologies at scale.

For example, as we shelter in place around the world, the promise of

autonomous vehicles (AVs) to improve access to critical goods and services has

never felt more

relevant. But as we realize more ways these technologies could improve our lives, the

essential data collection and testing that power them have rightly been

suspended to ensure the safety of those involved.

That’s why today we’re launching PandaSet:

a new open-source dataset for training machine learning (ML) models for

autonomous driving released in partnership with the LiDAR manufacturer Hesai.

While many AV companies are turning to complementary techniques and simulated

data to continue their work, there is often no substitute for high-quality

data that captures the complex and often messy reality of driving in the real


LiDAR Comparison

High-quality data is crucial to building safe and effective AV systems.

PandaSet is the world’s first publicly available dataset to include both

mechanical spinning and forward-facing LiDARs (Hesai’s Pandar64 and

PandarGT)—allowing ML teams to take advantage of the latest technologies. It

is also the first to be released without any major restrictions on its

commercial use.

There are three reasons why we hope AV teams will find PandaSet to be a

valuable resource: its content, its quality, and its no-cost commercial



Covering some of the most challenging driving conditions for full level 5

autonomy, PandaSet includes complex urban environments, their dense traffic

and pedestrians, steep hills, construction, and a variety of lighting

conditions in the day, dusk and evening.

There are more than 48,000 camera images and over 16,000 LiDAR sweeps—more

than 100 scenes of 8s each. Capturing sequences in busy urban areas also

means there is a high density of useful information, with many more objects

in each frame than in other datasets.


By combining the strengths of both mechanical spinning and forward-facing

LiDARs, PandaSet captures the complex variables of urban driving in rich


It also includes 28 different annotation classes for each scene as well as

37 semantic segmentation labels for the majority of scenes. With LiDAR data

far beyond the capabilities of traditional cuboid labeling, it features

Scale’s Point Cloud Segmentation that enables the highest precision and

quality annotation of complex objects, such as smoke or rain.

PandaSet also features Scale’s market-leading

Sensor Fusion technology,

allowing ML teams to blend multiple LiDAR, RADAR and camera inputs into a

single point cloud that allows for the semantic segmentation of different

objects in LiDAR data. By allowing ML teams to exploit their LiDAR data much

more systematically, this makes PandaSet ideal for building

highly-performant autonomous systems.

No-cost commercial license

Many existing open-source datasets have restrictive licensing terms that

allow only research or limited commercial uses. While that can be important

for helping ensure data is used appropriately, we wanted to make PandaSet

available to the entire community, democratizing access to the latest LiDAR

technologies for ML teams around the world at a time when the barriers to

data collection are higher.

We all want to accelerate the safe deployment of AVs—and the need for the

right data has never been more pressing. By filling the gap for AI and ML

developers who might otherwise be unable to build and test new technologies,

we hope PandaSet will provide a useful resource for teams building a future

for mobility that is safer and more accessible for everyone.

You can find more information about PandaSet

here, with dataset

support tools available on


The future of your industry starts here.