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Fisheye Camera and Ultrasonic Sensor Fusion For Near-Field Obstacle Perception in Bird's-Eye-View

Arindam DasSudarshan PaulNiko Scholz ...+3 Ciar\'an Eising
Feb 2024
Accurate obstacle identification represents a fundamental challenge within the scope of near-field perception for autonomous driving. Conventionally, fisheye cameras are frequently employed for comprehensive surround-view perception, including rear-view obstacle localization. However, the performance of such cameras can significantly deteriorate in low-light conditions, during nighttime, or when subjected to intense sun glare. Conversely, cost-effective sensors like ultrasonic sensors remain largely unaffected under these conditions. Therefore, we present, to our knowledge, the first end-to-end multimodal fusion model tailored for efficient obstacle perception in a bird's-eye-view (BEV) perspective, utilizing fisheye cameras and ultrasonic sensors. Initially, ResNeXt-50 is employed as a set of unimodal encoders to extract features specific to each modality. Subsequently, the feature space associated with the visible spectrum undergoes transformation into BEV. The fusion of these two modalities is facilitated via concatenation. At the same time, the ultrasonic spectrum-based unimodal feature maps pass through content-aware dilated convolution, applied to mitigate the sensor misalignment between two sensors in the fused feature space. Finally, the fused features are utilized by a two-stage semantic occupancy decoder to generate grid-wise predictions for precise obstacle perception. We conduct a systematic investigation to determine the optimal strategy for multimodal fusion of both sensors. We provide insights into our dataset creation procedures, annotation guidelines, and perform a thorough data analysis to ensure adequate coverage of all scenarios. When applied to our dataset, the experimental results underscore the robustness and effectiveness of our proposed multimodal fusion approach.
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