On the Metrics for Evaluating Monocular Depth Estimation

Monocular Depth Estimation (MDE) is performed to produce 3D information that can be used in downstream tasks such as those related to on-board perception for Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) or driver assistance. Therefore, a relevant arising question is whether the standard metrics for MDE assessment are a good indicator of the accuracy of future MDE-based driving-related perception tasks. We address this question in this paper. In particular, we take the task of 3D object detection on point clouds as a proxy of on-board perception. We train and test state-of-the-art 3D object detectors using 3D point clouds coming from MDE models. We confront the ranking of object detection results with the ranking given by the depth estimation metrics of the MDE models. We conclude that, indeed, MDE evaluation metrics give rise to a ranking of methods that reflects relatively well the 3D object detection results we may expect. Among the different metrics, the absolute relative (abs-rel) error seems to be the best for that purpose.

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