Unpaved road detection using optimized log Gabor filter banks
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The revised unpaved road detection system (RURD) is a novel method for detecting unpaved roads in an arid environment from color imagery collected by a forward-looking camera mounted on a moving platform. The objective is to develop and validate a novel system with the ability to detect an unpaved road at a look-ahead distance up to 40 meters that does not utilize an expensive sensor, i.e., LIDAR but instead a low-cost color camera sensor. The RURD system is composed of two stages, the road region estimation (RRE) and the road model formation (RMF). The RRE stage classifies the image patches selected at 20-meter distance from the camera and labels them to either road or non-road. The classification result is used as a high confidence road area in the image, which is used in the RMF stage. The RMF stage uses log Gabor filter bank to extract road pixels that connect to the high confidence road region and generates a 3rd degree polynomial curve to represent the road model in a given image. The road model allows the system to extend the detection range from 20 meters to farther look-ahead distance. The RURD system is evaluated with two-years worth of data collection that measures both spatial and temporal precisions. The system is also benchmarked against an algorithm from Rasmussen entitled "Grouping Dominant Orientations for Ill-Structured Roads Following", which shown an average increase detection accuracy over 30 [percent].