Posts

Long-HOT: A Modular Hierarchical Approach for Long-Horizon Object Transport

We aim to address key challenges in long-horizon embodied exploration and navigation by proposing a long-horizon object transport task called Long-HOT and a novel modular framework for temporally extended navigation. Agents in Long-HOT need to efficiently find and pick up target objects that are scattered in the environment, carry them to a goal location with load constraints, and optionally have access to a container. We propose a modular topological graph-based transport policy (HTP) that explores efficiently with the help of weighted frontiers. Our hierarchical approach uses a combination of motion planning algorithms to reach point goals within explored locations and object navigation policies for moving towards semantic targets at unknown locations. Experiments on both our proposed Habitat transport task and on MultiOn benchmarks show that our method outperforms baselines and prior works. Further, we analyze the agent’s behavior for the usage of the container and demonstrate meaningful generalization to harder transport scenes with training only on simpler versions of the task.

Instantaneous Perception of Moving Objects in 3D

The perception of 3D motion of surrounding traffic participants is crucial for driving safety. While existing works primarily focus on general large motions, we contend that the instantaneous detection and quantification of subtle motions is equally important as they indicate the nuances in driving behavior that may be safety critical, such as behaviors near a stop sign of parking positions. We delve into this under-explored task, examining its unique challenges and developing our solution, accompanied by a carefully designed benchmark. Specifically, due to the lack of correspondences between consecutive frames of sparse Lidar point clouds, static objects might appear to be moving – the so-called swimming effect. This intertwines with the true object motion, thereby posing ambiguity in accurate estimation, especially for subtle motions. To address this, we propose to leverage local occupancy completion of object point clouds to densify the shape cue, and mitigate the impact of swimming artifacts. The occupancy completion is learned in an end-to-end fashion together with the detection of moving objects and the estimation of their motion, instantaneously as soon as objects start to move. Extensive experiments demonstrate superior performance compared to standard 3D motion estimation approaches, particularly highlighting our method’s specialized treatment of subtle motions.

LidaRF: Delving into Lidar for Neural Radiance Field on Street Scenes

Photorealistic simulation plays a crucial role in applications such as autonomous driving, where advances in neural radiance fields (NeRFs) may allow better scalability through the automatic creation of digital 3D assets. However, reconstruction quality suffers on street scenes due to largely collinear camera motions and sparser samplings at higher speeds. On the other hand, the application often demands rendering from camera views that deviate from the inputs to accurately simulate behaviors like lane changes. In this paper, we propose several insights that allow a better utilization of Lidar data to improve NeRF quality on street scenes. First, our framework learns a geometric scene representation from Lidar, which are fused with the implicit grid-based representation for radiance decoding, thereby supplying strongergeometric information offered by explicit point cloud. Second, we put forth a robust occlusion-aware depth supervision scheme, which allows utilizing densified Lidar points by accumulation. Third, we generate augmented training views from Lidar points for further improvement. Our insights translate to largely improved novel view synthesis under real driving scenes.

AIDE: An Automatic Data Engine for Object Detection in Autonomous Driving

Autonomous vehicle (AV) systems rely on robust perception models as a cornerstone of safety assurance. However, objects encountered on the road exhibit a long-tailed distribution, with rare or unseen categories posing challenges to a deployed perception model. This necessitates an expensive process of continuously curating and annotating data with significant human effort. We propose to leverage recent advances in vision-language and large language models to design an Automatic Data Engine (AIDE) that automatically identifies issues, efficiently curates data, improves the model through auto-labeling, and verifies the model through generation of diverse scenarios. This process operates iteratively, allowing for continuous self-improvement of the model. We further establish a benchmark for open-world detection on AV datasets to comprehensively evaluate various learning paradigms, demonstrating our method’s superior performance at a reduced cost.

Weakly But Deeply Supervised Occlusion-Reasoned Parametric Road Layouts

We propose an end-to-end network that takes a single perspective RGB image of a complex road scene as input, to produce occlusion-reasoned layouts in perspective space as well as a parametric bird’s-eye-view (BEV) space. In contrast to prior works that require dense supervision such as semantic labels in perspective view, our method only requires human annotations for parametric attributes that are cheaper and less ambiguous to obtain. To solve this challenging task, our design is comprised of modules that incorporate inductive biases to learn occlusion-reasoning, geometric transformation and semantic abstraction, where each module may be supervised by appropriately transforming the parametric annotations. We demonstrate how our design choices and proposed deep supervision help achieve meaningful representations and accurate predictions. We validate our approach on two public datasets, KITTI and NuScenes, to achieve state-of-the-art results with considerably less human supervision.

Divide-and-Conquer for Lane-Aware Diverse Trajectory Prediction

Trajectory prediction is a safety-critical tool for autonomous vehicles to plan and execute actions. Our work addresses two key challenges in trajectory prediction, learning multimodal outputs, and better predictions by imposing constraints using driving knowledge. Recent methods have achieved strong performances using Multi-Choice Learning objectives like winner-takes-all (WTA) or best-of-many. But the impact of those methods in learning diverse hypotheses is under-studied as such objectives highly depend on their initialization for diversity. As our first contribution, we propose a novel Divide-And-Conquer (DAC) approach that acts as a better initialization technique to WTA objective, resulting in diverse outputs without any spurious modes. Our second contribution is a novel trajectory prediction framework called ALAN that uses existing lane centerlines as anchors to provide trajectories constrained to the input lanes. Our framework provides multi-agent trajectory outputs in a forward pass by capturing interactions through hypercolumn descriptors and incorporating scene information in the form of rasterized images and per-agent lane anchors. Experiments on synthetic and real data show that the proposed DAC captures the data distribution better compare to other WTA family of objectives. Further, we show that our ALAN approach provides on par or better performance with SOTA methods evaluated on Nuscenes urban driving benchmark.

SMART: Simultaneous Multi-Agent Recurrent Trajectory Prediction

We propose advances that address two key challenges in future trajectory prediction: (i) multimodality in both training data and predictions and (ii) constant time inference regardless of number of agents. Existing trajectory predictions are fundamentally limited by lack of diversity in training data, which is difficult to acquire with sufficient coverage of possible modes. Our first contribution is an automatic method to simulate diverse trajectories in the top-view. It uses pre-existing datasets and maps as initialization, mines existing trajectories to represent realistic driving behaviors and uses a multi-agent vehicle dynamics simulator to generate diverse new trajectories that cover various modes and are consistent with scene layout constraints. Our second contribution is a novel method that generates diverse predictions while accounting for scene semantics and multi-agent interactions, with constant-time inference independent of the number of agents. We propose a convLSTM with novel state pooling operations and losses to predict scene-consistent states of multiple agents in a single forward pass, along with a CVAE for diversity. We validate our proposed multi-agent trajectory prediction approach by training and testing on the proposed simulated dataset and existing real datasets of traffic scenes. In both cases, our approach outperforms SOTA methods by a large margin, highlighting the benefits of both our diverse dataset simulation and constant-time diverse trajectory prediction methods.”