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"autonomous cars": models, code, and papers

One-Step Time-Dependent Future Video Frame Prediction with a Convolutional Encoder-Decoder Neural Network

Jul 24, 2017
Vedran Vukotić, Silvia-Laura Pintea, Christian Raymond, Guillaume Gravier, Jan Van Gemert

There is an inherent need for autonomous cars, drones, and other robots to have a notion of how their environment behaves and to anticipate changes in the near future. In this work, we focus on anticipating future appearance given the current frame of a video. Existing work focuses on either predicting the future appearance as the next frame of a video, or predicting future motion as optical flow or motion trajectories starting from a single video frame. This work stretches the ability of CNNs (Convolutional Neural Networks) to predict an anticipation of appearance at an arbitrarily given future time, not necessarily the next video frame. We condition our predicted future appearance on a continuous time variable that allows us to anticipate future frames at a given temporal distance, directly from the input video frame. We show that CNNs can learn an intrinsic representation of typical appearance changes over time and successfully generate realistic predictions at a deliberate time difference in the near future.

* 11 pages, 1 figures, published in the International Conference of Image Analysis and Processing (ICIAP) 2017 and in the Netherlands Conference on Computer Vision (NCCV) 2016 
  
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AA3DNet: Attention Augmented Real Time 3D Object Detection

Aug 11, 2021
Abhinav Sagar

In this work, we address the problem of 3D object detection from point cloud data in real time. For autonomous vehicles to work, it is very important for the perception component to detect the real world objects with both high accuracy and fast inference. We propose a novel neural network architecture along with the training and optimization details for detecting 3D objects using point cloud data. We present anchor design along with custom loss functions used in this work. A combination of spatial and channel wise attention module is used in this work. We use the Kitti 3D Birds Eye View dataset for benchmarking and validating our results. Our method surpasses previous state of the art in this domain both in terms of average precision and speed running at > 30 FPS. Finally, we present the ablation study to demonstrate that the performance of our network is generalizable. This makes it a feasible option to be deployed in real time applications like self driving cars.

* 12 pages, 8 tables, 6 figures, Submitted to 3DV 2021 
  
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Predictive Probability Path Planning Model For Dynamic Environments

Jul 29, 2020
Sourav Dutta, Tuan Tran, Banafsheh Rekabdar, Chinwe Ekenna

Path planning in dynamic environments is essential to high-risk applications such as unmanned aerial vehicles, self-driving cars, and autonomous underwater vehicles. In this paper, we generate collision-free trajectories for a robot within any given environment with temporal and spatial uncertainties caused due to randomly moving obstacles. We use two Poisson distributions to model the movements of obstacles across the generated trajectory of a robot in both space and time to determine the probability of collision with an obstacle. Measures are taken to avoid an obstacle by intelligently manipulating the speed of the robot at space-time intervals where a larger number of obstacles intersect the trajectory of the robot. Our method potentially reduces the use of computationally expensive collision detection libraries. Based on our experiments, there has been a significant improvement over existing methods in terms of safety, accuracy, execution time and computational cost. Our results show a high level of accuracy between the predicted and actual number of collisions with moving obstacles.

  
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Achieving Real-Time LiDAR 3D Object Detection on a Mobile Device

Dec 26, 2020
Pu Zhao, Wei Niu, Geng Yuan, Yuxuan Cai, Hsin-Hsuan Sung, Wujie Wen, Sijia Liu, Xipeng Shen, Bin Ren, Yanzhi Wang, Xue Lin

3D object detection is an important task, especially in the autonomous driving application domain. However, it is challenging to support the real-time performance with the limited computation and memory resources on edge-computing devices in self-driving cars. To achieve this, we propose a compiler-aware unified framework incorporating network enhancement and pruning search with the reinforcement learning techniques, to enable real-time inference of 3D object detection on the resource-limited edge-computing devices. Specifically, a generator Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) is employed to provide the unified scheme for both network enhancement and pruning search automatically, without human expertise and assistance. And the evaluated performance of the unified schemes can be fed back to train the generator RNN. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed framework firstly achieves real-time 3D object detection on mobile devices (Samsung Galaxy S20 phone) with competitive detection performance.

  
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MaskNet: A Fully-Convolutional Network to Estimate Inlier Points

Oct 19, 2020
Vinit Sarode, Animesh Dhagat, Rangaprasad Arun Srivatsan, Nicolas Zevallos, Simon Lucey, Howie Choset

Point clouds have grown in importance in the way computers perceive the world. From LIDAR sensors in autonomous cars and drones to the time of flight and stereo vision systems in our phones, point clouds are everywhere. Despite their ubiquity, point clouds in the real world are often missing points because of sensor limitations or occlusions, or contain extraneous points from sensor noise or artifacts. These problems challenge algorithms that require computing correspondences between a pair of point clouds. Therefore, this paper presents a fully-convolutional neural network that identifies which points in one point cloud are most similar (inliers) to the points in another. We show improvements in learning-based and classical point cloud registration approaches when retrofitted with our network. We demonstrate these improvements on synthetic and real-world datasets. Finally, our network produces impressive results on test datasets that were unseen during training, thus exhibiting generalizability. Code and videos are available at https://github.com/vinits5/masknet

* Accepted at International Conference on 3D Vision (3DV, 2020) 
  
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Predicting Semantic Map Representations from Images using Pyramid Occupancy Networks

Mar 30, 2020
Thomas Roddick, Roberto Cipolla

Autonomous vehicles commonly rely on highly detailed birds-eye-view maps of their environment, which capture both static elements of the scene such as road layout as well as dynamic elements such as other cars and pedestrians. Generating these map representations on the fly is a complex multi-stage process which incorporates many important vision-based elements, including ground plane estimation, road segmentation and 3D object detection. In this work we present a simple, unified approach for estimating maps directly from monocular images using a single end-to-end deep learning architecture. For the maps themselves we adopt a semantic Bayesian occupancy grid framework, allowing us to trivially accumulate information over multiple cameras and timesteps. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by evaluating against several challenging baselines on the NuScenes and Argoverse datasets, and show that we are able to achieve a relative improvement of 9.1% and 22.3% respectively compared to the best-performing existing method.

  
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Watch Out for the Safety-Threatening Actors: Proactively Mitigating Safety Hazards

Jun 02, 2022
Saurabh Jha, Shengkun Cui, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk, Ravishankar K. Iyer

Despite the successful demonstration of autonomous vehicles (AVs), such as self-driving cars, ensuring AV safety remains a challenging task. Although some actors influence an AV's driving decisions more than others, current approaches pay equal attention to each actor on the road. An actor's influence on the AV's decision can be characterized in terms of its ability to decrease the number of safe navigational choices for the AV. In this work, we propose a safety threat indicator (STI) using counterfactual reasoning to estimate the importance of each actor on the road with respect to its influence on the AV's safety. We use this indicator to (i) characterize the existing real-world datasets to identify rare hazardous scenarios as well as the poor performance of existing controllers in such scenarios; and (ii) design an RL based safety mitigation controller to proactively mitigate the safety hazards those actors pose to the AV. Our approach reduces the accident rate for the state-of-the-art AV agent(s) in rare hazardous scenarios by more than 70%.

  
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Generate (non-software) Bugs to Fool Classifiers

Nov 20, 2019
Hiromu Yakura, Youhei Akimoto, Jun Sakuma

In adversarial attacks intended to confound deep learning models, most studies have focused on limiting the magnitude of the modification so that humans do not notice the attack. On the other hand, during an attack against autonomous cars, for example, most drivers would not find it strange if a small insect image were placed on a stop sign, or they may overlook it. In this paper, we present a systematic approach to generate natural adversarial examples against classification models by employing such natural-appearing perturbations that imitate a certain object or signal. We first show the feasibility of this approach in an attack against an image classifier by employing generative adversarial networks that produce image patches that have the appearance of a natural object to fool the target model. We also introduce an algorithm to optimize placement of the perturbation in accordance with the input image, which makes the generation of adversarial examples fast and likely to succeed. Moreover, we experimentally show that the proposed approach can be extended to the audio domain, for example, to generate perturbations that sound like the chirping of birds to fool a speech classifier.

* Accepted by AAAI 2020 
  
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CNN Encoder to Reduce the Dimensionality of Data Image for Motion Planning

Apr 10, 2020
Janderson Ferreira, Agostinho A. F. Júnior, Yves M. Galvão, Bruno J. T. Fernandes, Pablo Barros

Many real-world applications need path planning algorithms to solve tasks in different areas, such as social applications, autonomous cars, and tracking activities. And most importantly motion planning. Although the use of path planning is sufficient in most motion planning scenarios, they represent potential bottlenecks in large environments with dynamic changes. To tackle this problem, the number of possible routes could be reduced to make it easier for path planning algorithms to find the shortest path with less efforts. An traditional algorithm for path planning is the A*, it uses an heuristic to work faster than other solutions. In this work, we propose a CNN encoder capable of eliminating useless routes for motion planning problems, then we combine the proposed neural network output with A*. To measure the efficiency of our solution, we propose a database with different scenarios of motion planning problems. The evaluated metric is the number of the iterations to find the shortest path. The A* was compared with the CNN Encoder (proposal) with A*. In all evaluated scenarios, our solution reduced the number of iterations by more than 60\%.

  
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