Authors:Youngseok Kim, Sanmin Kim, Jun Won Choi, Dongsuk Kum
Camera and radar sensors have significant advantages in cost, reliability, and maintenance compared to LiDAR. Existing fusion methods often fuse the outputs of single modalities at the result-level, called the late fusion strategy. This can benefit from using off-the-shelf single sensor detection algorithms, but late fusion cannot fully exploit the complementary properties of sensors, thus having limited performance despite the huge potential of camera-radar fusion. Here we propose a novel proposal-level early fusion approach that effectively exploits both spatial and contextual properties of camera and radar for 3D object detection. Our fusion framework first associates image proposal with radar points in the polar coordinate system to efficiently handle the discrepancy between the coordinate system and spatial properties. Using this as a first stage, following consecutive cross-attention based feature fusion layers adaptively exchange spatio-contextual information between camera and radar, leading to a robust and attentive fusion. Our camera-radar fusion approach achieves the state-of-the-art 41.1% mAP and 52.3% NDS on the nuScenes test set, which is 8.7 and 10.8 points higher than the camera-only baseline, as well as yielding competitive performance on the LiDAR method.