STrajNet: Multi-modal Hierarchical Transformer for Occupancy Flow Field Prediction in Autonomous Driving

Haochen Liu, Zhiyu Huang, Chen Lv

Forecasting the future states of surrounding traffic participants is a crucial capability for autonomous vehicles. The recently proposed occupancy flow field prediction introduces a scalable and effective representation to jointly predict surrounding agents' future motions in a scene. However, the challenging part is to model the underlying social interactions among traffic agents and the relations between occupancy and flow. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel Multi-modal Hierarchical Transformer network that fuses the vectorized (agent motion) and visual (scene flow, map, and occupancy) modalities and jointly predicts the flow and occupancy of the scene. Specifically, visual and vector features from sensory data are encoded through a multi-stage Transformer module and then a late-fusion Transformer module with temporal pixel-wise attention. Importantly, a flow-guided multi-head self-attention (FG-MSA) module is designed to better aggregate the information on occupancy and flow and model the mathematical relations between them. The proposed method is comprehensively validated on the Waymo Open Motion Dataset and compared against several state-of-the-art models. The results reveal that our model with much more compact architecture and data inputs than other methods can achieve comparable performance. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of incorporating vectorized agent motion features and the proposed FG-MSA module. Compared to the ablated model without the FG-MSA module, which won 2nd place in the 2022 Waymo Occupancy and Flow Prediction Challenge, the current model shows better separability for flow and occupancy and further performance improvements.

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