Robust visual-inertial integrated navigation system aided by online sensor model adaption for autonomous ground vehicles in urban areas

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The visual-inertial integrated navigation system (VINS) has been extensively studied over the past decades to provide accurate and low-cost positioning solutions for autonomous systems. Satisfactory performance can be obtained in an ideal scenario with sufficient and static environment features. However, there are usually numerous dynamic objects in deep urban areas, and these moving objects can severely distort the feature-tracking process which is critical to the feature-based VINS. One well-known method that mitigates the effects of dynamic objects is to detect vehicles using deep neural networks and remove the features belonging to surrounding vehicles. However, excessive feature exclusion can severely distort the geometry of feature distribution, leading to limited visual measurements. Instead of directly eliminating the features from dynamic objects, this study proposes to adopt the visual measurement model based on the quality of feature tracking to improve the performance of the VINS. First, a self-tuning covariance estimation approach is proposed to model the uncertainty of each feature measurement by integrating two parts: (1) the geometry of feature distribution (GFD); (2) the quality of feature tracking. Second, an adaptive Mestimator is proposed to correct the measurement residual model to further mitigate the effects of outlier measurements, like the dynamic features. Different from the conventional M-estimator, the proposed method effectively alleviates the reliance on the excessive parameterization of the Mestimator. Experiments were conducted in typical urban areas of Hong Kong with numerous dynamic objects. The results show that the proposed method could effectively mitigate the effects of dynamic objects and improved accuracy of the VINS is obtained when compared with the conventional VINS method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1686
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2020


  • Adaptive tuning
  • Autonomous systems
  • Dynamic objects
  • Positioning
  • Urban canyons
  • Visual-inertial integrated navigation system (VINS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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