Bird's-Eye-View (BEV) 3D Object Detection is a crucial multi-view technique for autonomous driving systems. Recently, plenty of works are proposed, following a similar paradigm consisting of three essential components, i.e., camera feature extraction, BEV feature construction, and task heads. Among the three components, BEV feature construction is BEV-specific compared with 2D tasks. Existing methods aggregate the multi-view camera features to the flattened grid in order to construct the BEV feature. However, flattening the BEV space along the height dimension fails to emphasize the informative features of different heights. For example, the barrier is located at a low height while the truck is located at a high height. In this paper, we propose a novel method named BEV Slice Attention Network (BEV-SAN) for exploiting the intrinsic characteristics of different heights. Instead of flattening the BEV space, we first sample along the height dimension to build the global and local BEV slices. Then, the features of BEV slices are aggregated from the camera features and merged by the attention mechanism. Finally, we fuse the merged local and global BEV features by a transformer to generate the final feature map for task heads. The purpose of local BEV slices is to emphasize informative heights. In order to find them, we further propose a LiDAR-guided sampling strategy to leverage the statistical distribution of LiDAR to determine the heights of local slices. Compared with uniform sampling, LiDAR-guided sampling can determine more informative heights. We conduct detailed experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness of BEV-SAN. Code will be released.
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