BMVC 2004, Kingston, 7th-9th Sept, 2004

Texture-Based Vanishing Point Voting for Road Shape Estimation
C. Rasmussen (University of Delaware, USA)

Many rural roads lack sharp, smoothly curving edges and a homogeneous surface
appearance, hampering traditional vision-based road-following methods. However,
they often have strong texture cues parallel to the road direction in the form of
ruts and tracks left by other vehicles. This paper describes an unsupervised algorithm
for following ill-structured roads in which dominant texture orientations
computed with Gabor wavelet filters vote for a consensus road vanishing point location.
The technique is first described for estimating the direction of straight-road
segments, then extended to curved and undulating roads by tracking the vanishing
point indicated by a differential "strip" of voters moving up toward the nominal
vanishing line. Finally, the vanishing point is used to constrain a search for the
road boundaries by maximizing texture- and color-based region discriminant functions.
Results are shown for a variety of road scenes including gravel roads, dirt
trails, and highways.
(pdf article)