Generic object detection, aiming at locating object instances from a large number of predefined categories in natural images, is one of the most fundamental and challenging problems in computer vision. Deep learning techniques have emerged in recent years as powerful methods for learning feature representations directly from data, and have led to remarkable breakthroughs in the field of generic object detection. Given this time of rapid evolution, the goal of this paper is to provide a comprehensive survey of the recent achievements in this field brought by deep learning techniques. More than 250 key contributions are included in this survey, covering many aspects of generic object detection research: leading detection frameworks and fundamental subproblems including object feature representation, object proposal generation, context information modeling and training strategies; evaluation issues, specifically benchmark datasets, evaluation metrics, and state of the art performance. We finish by identifying promising directions for future research.