Purdue University Graduate School
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An Effective Framework of Autonomous Driving by Sensing Road/motion Profiles

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posted on 2021-11-22, 13:46 authored by Zheyuan WangZheyuan Wang
With more and more videos taken from dash cams on thousands of cars, retrieving these videos and searching for important information is a daunting task. The purpose of this work is to mine some key road and vehicle motion attributes in a large-scale driving video data set for traffic analysis, sensing algorithm development and autonomous driving test benchmarks. Current sensing and control of autonomous cars based on full-view identification makes it difficult to maintain a high-frequency with a fast-moving vehicle, since computation is increasingly used to cope with driving environment changes.

A big challenge in video data mining is how to deal with huge amounts of data. We use a compact representation called the road profile system to visualize the road environment in long 2D images. It reduces the data from each frame of image to one line, thereby compressing the video clip to the image. This data dimensionality reduction method has several advantages: First, the data size is greatly compressed. The data is compressed from a video to an image, and each frame in the video is compressed into a line. The data size is compressed hundreds of times. While the size and dimensionality of the data has been compressed greatly, the useful information in the driving video is still completely preserved, and motion information is even better represented more intuitively. Because of the data and dimensionality reduction, the identification algorithm computational efficiency is higher than the full-view identification method, and it makes the real-time identification on road is possible. Second, the data is easier to be visualized, because the data is reduced in dimensionality, and the three-dimensional video data is compressed into two-dimensional data, the reduction is more conducive to the visualization and mutual comparison of the data. Third, continuously changing attributes are easier to show and be captured. Due to the more convenient visualization of two-dimensional data, the position, color and size of the same object within a few frames will be easier to compare and capture. At the same time, in many cases, the trouble caused by tracking and matching can be eliminated. Based on the road profile system, there are three tasks in autonomous driving are achieved using the road profile images.

The first application is road edge detection under different weather and appearance for road following in autonomous driving to capture the road profile image and linearity profile image in the road profile system. This work uses naturalistic driving video data mining to study the appearance of roads, which covers large-scale road data and changes. This work excavated a large number of naturalistic driving video sets to sample the light-sensitive area for color feature distribution. The effective road contour image is extracted from the long-time driving video, thereby greatly reducing the amount of video data. Then, the weather and lighting type can be identified. For each weather and lighting condition obvious features are I identified at the edge of the road to distinguish the road edge.

The second application is detecting vehicle interactions in driving videos via motion profile images to capture the motion profile image in the road profile system. This work uses visual actions recorded in driving videos taken by a dashboard camera to identify this interaction. The motion profile images of the video are filtered at key locations, thereby reducing the complexity of object detection, depth sensing, target tracking and motion estimation. The purpose of this reduction is for decision making of vehicle actions such as lane changing, vehicle following, and cut-in handling.

The third application is motion planning based on vehicle interactions and driving video. Taking note of the fact that a car travels in a straight line, we simply identify a few sample lines in the view to constantly scan the road, vehicles, and environment, generating a portion of the entire video data. Without using redundant data processing, we performed semantic segmentation to streaming road profile images. We plan the vehicle's path/motion using the smallest data set possible that contains all necessary information for driving.

The results are obtained efficiently, and the accuracy is acceptable. The results can be used for driving video mining, traffic analysis, driver behavior understanding, etc.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Computer Science

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jiang Yu Zheng

Additional Committee Member 2

Voicu S. Popescu

Additional Committee Member 3

Xavier M. Tricoche

Additional Committee Member 4

Yuni Xia