Knowledge Distillation from Single-Task Teachers to Multi-Task Student for End-to-End Autonomous Driving


  • Pedram Agand Simon Fraser University



End-to-end Autonomous Driving, Distillation Model, Transformer Architecture, Perception Module, Multi-task Learning


In the domain of end-to-end autonomous driving, conventional sensor fusion techniques exhibit inadequacies, particularly when facing challenging scenarios with numerous dynamic agents. Imitation learning hampers the performance by the expert and encounters issues with out-of-distribution challenges. To overcome these limitations, we propose a transformer-based algorithm designed to fuse diverse representations from RGB-D cameras through knowledge distillation. This approach leverages insights from multi-task teachers to enhance the learning capabilities of single-task students, particularly in a Reinforcement Learning (RL) setting. Our model consists of two primary modules: the perception module, responsible for encoding observation data acquired from RGB-D cameras and performing tasks such as semantic segmentation, semantic depth cloud mapping (SDC), ego vehicle speed estimation, and traffic light state recognition. Subsequently, the control module decodes these features, incorporating additional data, including a rough simulator for static and dynamic environments, to anticipate waypoints within a latent feature space. Vehicular controls (e.g., steering, throttle, and brake) are obtained directly from measurement features and environmental states using the RL agent and are further refined by a PID algorithm that dynamically follows waypoints. The model undergoes rigorous evaluation and comparative analysis on the CARLA simulator across various scenarios, encompassing normal to adversarial conditions. Our code is available at to facilitate future studies.




How to Cite

Agand, P. (2024). Knowledge Distillation from Single-Task Teachers to Multi-Task Student for End-to-End Autonomous Driving. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 38(21), 23375-23376.