Estimation of Vehicle's Lateral Position via the Lucas-Kanade Optical Flow Method


Jiann-Shiou Yang

September 2012

Report no. CTS 12-31



The use of rumble strips on roads has proven to be an effective means of providing drivers lane departure warning (LDW). However, rumble strips require an infrastructure and do not exist on a majority of roadways. Furthermore, rumble strips present a difficult issue of where to establish the rumble-strip distance threshold. To develop an effective virtual rumble-strip LDW system where the rumble-strip threshold is allowed to vary according to the risk of the vehicle departing the road, it is essential to know the vehicle?s lateral characteristics; in particular, the vehicle?s lateral position and speed. In this report, we use image processing via an in-vehicle camera to estimate the vehicle?s lateral position and speed. The lateral position is estimated by determining the vehicle?s heading angle via a homography and the Lucas-Kanade optical flow techniques; while the lateral speed is determined via the heading angle and the vehicle?s On Board Diagnostic (OBD)-II forward speed data access. The detail of our approach is presented in this report together with our findings. Our approach will only need the minimal set of information to characterize the vehicle lateral characteristics, and therefore, makes it more feasible in a vehicle application.

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ITS Institute (RITA)