Google Research

Range Conditioned Dilated Convolutions for Scale Invariant 3D Object Detection

Conference on Robot Learning (2020)

Abstract

This paper presents a novel 3D object detection framework that processes LiDAR data directly on a representation of the sensor's native range images. When operating in the range image view, one faces learning challenges, including occlusion and considerable scale variation, limiting the obtainable accuracy. To address these challenges, a range-conditioned dilated block (RCD) is proposed to dynamically adjust a continuous dilation rate as a function of the measured range, achieving scale invariance. Furthermore, soft range gating helps mitigate the effect of occlusion. An end-to-end trained box-refinement network brings additional performance improvements in occluded areas, and produces more accurate bounding box predictions. On the Waymo Open Dataset, currently the largest and most diverse publicly released autonomous driving dataset, our improved range-based detector outperforms state of the art at long range detection. Our framework is superior to prior multiview, voxel-based methods over all ranges, setting a new baseline for range-based 3D detection on this large scale public dataset.

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