Autonomous Vehicle Perception Quality Assessment

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Virginia Tech


In recent years, the rapid development of autonomous vehicles (AVs) has necessitated the need for high-quality perception systems. Perception is a fundamental requirement for AVs, with cameras and LiDARs being commonly used sensors for environmental understanding and localization. However, there is a research gap in assessing the quality of AVs perception systems. To address this gap, this dissertation proposes a novel paradigm for evaluating AVs perception quality by studying the perception quality of cameras and LiDARs sensors. Our proposed paradigm aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of the quality of perception systems used in AVs.To achieve our research goals, we first validate the concept of surrounding environmental complexity through subjective experiments that rate complexity scores. In this study, we propose a neural network to classify complexity. Subsequently, we study image-based perception quality assessment by using image saliency and 2D object detection algorithms to create an image-based quality index. We then develop a neural network model to regress the proposed quality index score. Furthermore, we extend our research to LiDAR-based point cloud quality assessment by using the image-based saliency map as guidance to generate a point cloud quality index score. We then develop a neural network model to regress the score. Finally, we validate the proposed perception quality index with a novel designed AVs perception algorithm. In conclusion, this dissertation makes a significant contribution to the field of AVs perception by proposing a new paradigm for assessing perception quality. Our research findings can be used to improve the overall performance and safety of AVs, which has significant implications for the transportation industry and society as a whole.



Autonomous Vehicle, Computer Vision, Deep Learning, Neural Network, Image Quality Assessment, Point Cloud Quality Assessment