Sensors 2013, 13(6), 7756-7773; doi:10.3390/s130607756
Article

Robust Vehicle Detection under Various Environmental Conditions Using an Infrared Thermal Camera and Its Application to Road Traffic Flow Monitoring

Department of Information Engineering, Graduate School of Industrial Engineering, Tokai University, 9-1-1 Toroku, Higashi-ku, Kumamoto 862-8652, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 April 2013; in revised form: 1 June 2013 / Accepted: 7 June 2013 / Published: 17 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract: We have already proposed a method for detecting vehicle positions and their movements (henceforth referred to as “our previous method”) using thermal images taken with an infrared thermal camera. Our experiments have shown that our previous method detects vehicles robustly under four different environmental conditions which involve poor visibility conditions in snow and thick fog. Our previous method uses the windshield and its surroundings as the target of the Viola-Jones detector. Some experiments in winter show that the vehicle detection accuracy decreases because the temperatures of many windshields approximate those of the exterior of the windshields. In this paper, we propose a new vehicle detection method (henceforth referred to as “our new method”). Our new method detects vehicles based on tires’ thermal energy reflection. We have done experiments using three series of thermal images for which the vehicle detection accuracies of our previous method are low. Our new method detects 1,417 vehicles (92.8%) out of 1,527 vehicles, and the number of false detection is 52 in total. Therefore, by combining our two methods, high vehicle detection accuracies are maintained under various environmental conditions. Finally, we apply the traffic information obtained by our two methods to traffic flow automatic monitoring, and show the effectiveness of our proposal.
Keywords: vehicle detection; infrared thermal images; various environmental conditions; traffic monitoring; thermal energy reflection; Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

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MDPI and ACS Style

Iwasaki, Y.; Misumi, M.; Nakamiya, T. Robust Vehicle Detection under Various Environmental Conditions Using an Infrared Thermal Camera and Its Application to Road Traffic Flow Monitoring. Sensors 2013, 13, 7756-7773.

AMA Style

Iwasaki Y, Misumi M, Nakamiya T. Robust Vehicle Detection under Various Environmental Conditions Using an Infrared Thermal Camera and Its Application to Road Traffic Flow Monitoring. Sensors. 2013; 13(6):7756-7773.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Iwasaki, Yoichiro; Misumi, Masato; Nakamiya, Toshiyuki. 2013. "Robust Vehicle Detection under Various Environmental Conditions Using an Infrared Thermal Camera and Its Application to Road Traffic Flow Monitoring." Sensors 13, no. 6: 7756-7773.

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