3D YOLO: End-to-End 3D Object Detection Using Point Clouds

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: For safe and reliable driving, it is essential that an autonomous vehicle can accurately perceive the surrounding environment. Modern sensor technologies used for perception, such as LiDAR and RADAR, deliver a large set of 3D measurement points known as a point cloud. There is a huge need to interpret the point cloud data to detect other road users, such as vehicles and pedestrians. Many research studies have proposed image-based models for 2D object detection. This thesis takes it a step further and aims to develop a LiDAR-based 3D object detection model that operates in real-time, with emphasis on autonomous driving scenarios. We propose 3D YOLO, an extension of YOLO (You Only Look Once), which is one of the fastest state-of-the-art 2D object detectors for images. The proposed model takes point cloud data as input and outputs 3D bounding boxes with class scores in real-time. Most of the existing 3D object detectors use hand-crafted features, while our model follows the end-to-end learning fashion, which removes manual feature engineering. 3D YOLO pipeline consists of two networks: (a) Feature Learning Network, an artificial neural network that transforms the input point cloud to a new feature space; (b) 3DNet, a novel convolutional neural network architecture based on YOLO that learns the shape description of the objects. Our experiments on the KITTI dataset shows that the 3D YOLO has high accuracy and outperforms the state-of-the-art LiDAR-based models in efficiency. This makes it a suitable candidate for deployment in autonomous vehicles.

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