Reducing Overconfidence Predictions in Autonomous Driving Perception

Gledson Melotti, Cristiano Premebida, Jordan J. Bird, Diego R. Faria, Nuno Gonçalves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In state-of-the-art deep learning for object recognition, Softmax and Sigmoid layers are most commonly employed as the predictor outputs. Such layers often produce overconfidence predictions rather than proper probabilistic scores, which can thus harm the decision-making of ‘critical’ perception systems applied in autonomous driving and robotics. Given this, we propose a probabilistic approach based on distributions calculated out of the Logit layer scores of pre-trained networks which are then used to constitute new decision layers based on Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Maximum a-Posteriori (MAP) inference. We demonstrate that the hereafter called ML and MAP layers are more suitable for probabilistic interpretations than Softmax and Sigmoid-based predictions for object recognition.We explore distinct sensor modalities via RGB images and LiDARs (RV: range-view) data from the KITTI and Lyft Level-5 datasets, where our approach shows promising performance compared to the usual Softmax and Sigmoid layers, with the benefit of enabling interpretable probabilistic predictions. Another advantage of the approach introduced in this paper is that the so-called ML and MAP layers can be implemented in existing trained networks, that is, the approach benefits from the output of the Logit layer of pre-trained networks. Thus, there is no need to carry out a new training phase since the ML and MAP layers are used in the test/prediction phase. The Classification results are presented using reliability diagrams, while detection results are illustrated using precision-recall curves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54805-54821
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Early online date16 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Uncertainty
  • Calibration
  • Predictive models
  • Bayes methods
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Deep learning
  • Training
  • Probability prediction
  • Confidence calibration
  • Bayesian inference
  • Object recognition
  • Perception system


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