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"autonomous cars": models, code, and papers

Transferable Pedestrian Motion Prediction Models at Intersections

Mar 15, 2018
Macheng Shen, Golnaz Habibi, Jonathan P. How

One desirable capability of autonomous cars is to accurately predict the pedestrian motion near intersections for safe and efficient trajectory planning. We are interested in developing transfer learning algorithms that can be trained on the pedestrian trajectories collected at one intersection and yet still provide accurate predictions of the trajectories at another, previously unseen intersection. We first discussed the feature selection for transferable pedestrian motion models in general. Following this discussion, we developed one transferable pedestrian motion prediction algorithm based on Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) that infers pedestrian intentions and predicts future trajectories based on observed trajectory. We evaluated our algorithm on a dataset collected at two intersections, trained at one intersection and tested at the other intersection. We used the accuracy of augmented semi-nonnegative sparse coding (ASNSC), trained and tested at the same intersection as a baseline. The result shows that the proposed algorithm improves the baseline accuracy by 40% in the non-transfer task, and 16% in the transfer task.

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VPAIR -- Aerial Visual Place Recognition and Localization in Large-scale Outdoor Environments

May 23, 2022
Michael Schleiss, Fahmi Rouatbi, Daniel Cremers

Visual Place Recognition and Visual Localization are essential components in navigation and mapping for autonomous vehicles especially in GNSS-denied navigation scenarios. Recent work has focused on ground or close to ground applications such as self-driving cars or indoor-scenarios and low-altitude drone flights. However, applications such as Urban Air Mobility require operations in large-scale outdoor environments at medium to high altitudes. We present a new dataset named VPAIR. The dataset was recorded on board a light aircraft flying at an altitude of more than 300 meters above ground capturing images with a downwardfacing camera. Each image is paired with a high resolution reference render including dense depth information and 6-DoF reference poses. The dataset covers a more than one hundred kilometers long trajectory over various types of challenging landscapes, e.g. urban, farmland and forests. Experiments on this dataset illustrate the challenges introduced by the change in perspective to a bird's eye view such as in-plane rotations.

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A Geometric Approach to On-road Motion Planning for Long and Multi-Body Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Oct 15, 2020
Rui Oliveira, Oskar Ljungqvist, Pedro F. Lima, Jonas Mårtensson, Bo Wahlberg

Driving heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses and tractor-trailer vehicles, is a difficult task in comparison to passenger cars. Most research on motion planning for autonomous vehicles has focused on passenger vehicles, and many unique challenges associated with heavy-duty vehicles remain open. However, recent works have started to tackle the particular difficulties related to on-road motion planning for buses and tractor-trailer vehicles using numerical optimization approaches. In this work, we propose a framework to design an optimization objective to be used in motion planners. Based on geometric derivations, the method finds the optimal trade-off between the conflicting objectives of centering different axles of the vehicle in the lane. For the buses, we consider the front and rear axles trade-off, whereas for articulated vehicles, we consider the tractor and trailer rear axles trade-off. Our results show that the proposed design strategy results in planned paths that considerably improve the behavior of heavy-duty vehicles by keeping the whole vehicle body in the center of the lane.

* 8 pages, 10 figures. Accepted for publication in: 2020 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium. Copyright of IEEE 
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Communication-Efficient Edge AI Inference Over Wireless Networks

Apr 28, 2020
Kai Yang, Yong Zhou, Zhanpeng Yang, Yuanming Shi

Given the fast growth of intelligent devices, it is expected that a large number of high-stake artificial intelligence (AI) applications, e.g., drones, autonomous cars, tactile robots, will be deployed at the edge of wireless networks in the near future. As such, the intelligent communication networks will be designed to leverage advanced wireless techniques and edge computing technologies to support AI-enabled applications at various end devices with limited communication, computation, hardware and energy resources. In this article, we shall present the principles of efficient deployment of model inference at network edge to provide low-latency and energy-efficient AI services. This includes the wireless distributed computing framework for low-latency device distributed model inference as well as the wireless cooperative transmission strategy for energy-efficient edge cooperative model inference. The communication efficiency of edge inference systems is further improved by building up a smart radio propagation environment via intelligent reflecting surface.

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Object Detection and Recognition of Swap-Bodies using Camera mounted on a Vehicle

Apr 17, 2020
Ebin Zacharias, Didier Stricker, Martin Teuchler, Kripasindhu Sarkar

Object detection and identification is a challenging area of computer vision and a fundamental requirement for autonomous cars. This project aims to jointly perform object detection of a swap-body and to find the type of swap-body by reading an ILU code using an efficient optical character recognition (OCR) method. Recent research activities have drastically improved deep learning techniques which proves to enhance the field of computer vision. Collecting enough images for training the model is a critical step towards achieving good results. The data for training were collected from different locations with maximum possible variations and the details are explained. In addition, data augmentation methods applied for training has proved to be effective in improving the performance of the trained model. Training the model achieved good results and the test results are also provided. The final model was tested with images and videos. Finally, this paper also draws attention to some of the major challenges faced during various stages of the project and the possible solutions applied.

* 13 pages 9 figures 2 tables 
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Sampling-based Motion Planning via Control Barrier Functions

Jul 15, 2019
Guang Yang, Bee Vang, Zachary Serlin, Calin Belta, Roberto Tron

Robot motion planning is central to real-world autonomous applications, such as self-driving cars, persistence surveillance, and robotic arm manipulation. One challenge in motion planning is generating control signals for nonlinear systems that result in obstacle free paths through dynamic environments. In this paper, we propose Control Barrier Function guided Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (CBF-RRT), a sampling-based motion planning algorithm for continuous-time nonlinear systems in dynamic environments. The algorithm focuses on two objectives: efficiently generating feasible controls that steer the system toward a goal region, and handling environments with dynamical obstacles in continuous time. We formulate the control synthesis problem as a Quadratic Program (QP) that enforces Control Barrier Function (CBF) constraints to achieve obstacle avoidance. Additionally, CBF-RRT does not require nearest neighbor or collision checks when sampling, which greatly reduce the run-time overhead when compared to standard RRT variants.

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Hyperbolic Uncertainty Aware Semantic Segmentation

Mar 16, 2022
Bike Chen, Wei Peng, Xiaofeng Cao, Juha Röning

Semantic segmentation (SS) aims to classify each pixel into one of the pre-defined classes. This task plays an important role in self-driving cars and autonomous drones. In SS, many works have shown that most misclassified pixels are commonly near object boundaries with high uncertainties. However, existing SS loss functions are not tailored to handle these uncertain pixels during training, as these pixels are usually treated equally as confidently classified pixels and cannot be embedded with arbitrary low distortion in Euclidean space, thereby degenerating the performance of SS. To overcome this problem, this paper designs a "Hyperbolic Uncertainty Loss" (HyperUL), which dynamically highlights the misclassified and high-uncertainty pixels in Hyperbolic space during training via the hyperbolic distances. The proposed HyperUL is model agnostic and can be easily applied to various neural architectures. After employing HyperUL to three recent SS models, the experimental results on Cityscapes and UAVid datasets reveal that the segmentation performance of existing SS models can be consistently improved.

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SoDA: Multi-Object Tracking with Soft Data Association

Aug 19, 2020
Wei-Chih Hung, Henrik Kretzschmar, Tsung-Yi Lin, Yuning Chai, Ruichi Yu, Ming-Hsuan Yang, Dragomir Anguelov

Robust multi-object tracking (MOT) is a prerequisite fora safe deployment of self-driving cars. Tracking objects, however, remains a highly challenging problem, especially in cluttered autonomous driving scenes in which objects tend to interact with each other in complex ways and frequently get occluded. We propose a novel approach to MOT that uses attention to compute track embeddings that encode the spatiotemporal dependencies between observed objects. This attention measurement encoding allows our model to relax hard data associations, which may lead to unrecoverable errors. Instead, our model aggregates information from all object detections via soft data associations. The resulting latent space representation allows our model to learn to reason about occlusions in a holistic data-driven way and maintain track estimates for objects even when they are occluded. Our experimental results on the Waymo OpenDataset suggest that our approach leverages modern large-scale datasets and performs favorably compared to the state of the art in visual multi-object tracking.

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DAG-Net: Double Attentive Graph Neural Network for Trajectory Forecasting

May 26, 2020
Alessio Monti, Alessia Bertugli, Simone Calderara, Rita Cucchiara

Understanding human motion behaviour is a critical task for several possible applications like self-driving cars or social robots, and in general for all those settings where an autonomous agent has to navigate inside a human-centric environment. This is non-trivial because human motion is inherently multi-modal: given a history of human motion paths, there are many plausible ways by which people could move in the future. Additionally, people activities are often driven by goals, e.g. reaching particular locations or interacting with the environment. We address both the aforementioned aspects by proposing a new recurrent generative model that considers both single agents' future goals and interactions between different agents. The model exploits a double attention-based graph neural network to collect information about the mutual influences among different agents and integrates it with data about agents' possible future objectives. Our proposal is general enough to be applied in different scenarios: the model achieves state-of-the-art results in both urban environments and also in sports applications.

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