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Recognizing temporary changes on highways for reliable autonomous driving

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3 Author(s)
Young-Woo Seo ; Robot. Inst., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Wettergreen, D. ; Wende Zhang

In order to be deployed in real-world driving environments, autonomous vehicles must be able to recognize and respond to exceptional road conditions, such as highway workzones, because such unusual events can alter previously known traffic rules and road geometry. In this paper, we present a set of computer vision methods which recognize the bounds of a highway workzone and temporary changes in highway driving environments through recognition of workzone signs. Our approach filters out irrelevant image regions, localizes potential sign image regions using a learned color model, and recognizes signs through classification. Performance of individual unit tests is promising; still, it is unrealistic to expect perfect performance in sign recognition. Performance errors with individual modules in sign recognition will cause our system to misread temporary highway changes. To handle potential recognition errors, our method utilizes the temporal redundancy of sign occurrences and their corresponding classification decisions. Through testing, using video data recorded under various weather conditions, our approach was able to perfectly identify the boundaries of workzones and robustly detect a majority of driving condition changes.

Published in:

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC), 2012 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

14-17 Oct. 2012