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Computer vision can provide a great deal of assistance to intelligent vehicles. In this paper an advanced driver assistance systems for vehicle detection is presented. A geometric model of the vehicle is defined where its energy function includes information of the shape and symmetry of the vehicle and the shadow it produces. A genetic algorithm finds the optimum parameter values. As the algorithm receives information from a road detection module some geometric restrictions can be applied. A multi-resolution approach is used to speed up the algorithm and work in real-time. Examples of real images are shown to validate the algorithm.