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Road detection is a key issue for autonomous driving in urban traffic. In this paper, after a brief overview of existing methods, we present a road-area detection algorithm based on color images. This algorithm is composed of two modules: boundaries are first estimated based on the intensity image and road areas are subsequently detected based on the full color image. In the first module, an edge image of the scene is analyzed to obtain the candidates for the left and right road borders and to delimit the area that will subsequently be used to compute the mean and variance of the Gaussian distribution, assumed to be obeyed by the color components of road surfaces. The second module effectively extracts the road area and reinforces boundaries that most appropriately fit the road-extraction result. The combination of these modules can overcome basic problems due to inaccuracies in edge detection based on the intensity image alone and due to the computational complexity of segmentation algorithms based on color images. Experimental results on real road scenes have substantiated the effectiveness of the proposed method.