Real-Time Optical Flow for Vehicular Perception with Low- and High-Resolution Event Cameras

20 Dec 2021  ·  Vincent Brebion, Julien Moreau, Franck Davoine ·

Event cameras capture changes of illumination in the observed scene rather than accumulating light to create images. Thus, they allow for applications under high-speed motion and complex lighting conditions, where traditional framebased sensors show their limits with blur and over- or underexposed pixels. Thanks to these unique properties, they represent nowadays an highly attractive sensor for ITS-related applications. Event-based optical flow (EBOF) has been studied following the rise in popularity of these neuromorphic cameras. The recent arrival of high-definition neuromorphic sensors, however, challenges the existing approaches, because of the increased resolution of the events pixel array and a much higher throughput. As an answer to these points, we propose an optimized framework for computing optical flow in real-time with both low- and high-resolution event cameras. We formulate a novel dense representation for the sparse events flow, in the form of the "inverse exponential distance surface". It serves as an interim frame, designed for the use of proven, state-of-the-art frame-based optical flow computation methods. We evaluate our approach on both low- and high-resolution driving sequences, and show that it often achieves better results than the current state of the art, while also reaching higher frame rates, 250Hz at 346 x 260 pixels and 77Hz at 1280 x 720 pixels.

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