In this paper a method for detecting and estimating the distance of a vehicle driving in front using a single black-box camera installed in a vehicle was proposed. In order to apply the proposed method to autonomous vehicles, it was required to reduce the throughput and speed-up the processing. To do this, the proposed method decomposed the input image into multiple-resolution images for real-time processing and then extracted the aggregated channel features (ACFs). The idea was to extract only the most important features from images at different resolutions symmetrically. A method of detecting an object and a method of estimating a vehicle’s distance from a bird’s eye view through inverse perspective mapping (IPM) were applied. In the proposed method, ACFs were used to generate the AdaBoost-based vehicle detector. The ACFs were extracted from the LUV color, edge gradient, and orientation (histograms of oriented gradients) of the input image. Subsequently, by applying IPM and transforming a 2D input image into 3D by generating an image projected in three dimensions, the distance between the detected vehicle and the autonomous vehicle was detected. The proposed method was applied in a real-world road environment and showed accurate results for vehicle detection and distance estimation in real-time processing. Thus, it was showed that our method is applicable to autonomous vehicles.
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