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PointAugmenting: Cross-Modal Augmentation for 3D Object Detection
Camera and LiDAR are two complementary sensors for 3D object detection in the autonomous driving context. Camera provides rich texture and color cues while LiDAR specializes in relative distance sensing. The challenge of 3D object detection lies in effectively fusing 2D camera images with 3D LiDAR points. In this paper, we present a novel cross-modal 3D object detection algorithm, named PointAugmenting. On one hand, PointAugmenting decorates point clouds with corresponding point-wise CNN features extracted by pretrained 2D detection models, and then performs 3D object detection over the decorated point clouds. In comparison with highly abstract semantic segmentation scores to decorate point clouds, CNN features from detection networks adapt to object appearance variations, achieving significant improvement. On the other hand, PointAugmenting benefits from a novel cross-modal data augmentation algorithm, which consistently pastes virtual objects into images and point clouds during network training. Extensive experiments on the large-scale nuScenes and Waymo datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our PointAugmenting. Notably, PointAugmenting outperforms the LiDAR-only baseline detector by +6.5% mAP and achieves the new state-of-the-art results on the nuScenes leaderboard to date.