A vision-based approach for tramway rail extraction

TitleA vision-based approach for tramway rail extraction
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsZwemer, MH, van de Wouw, DWJM, Jaspers, EGT, Zinger, S, de With, PHN

The growing traffic density in cities fuels the desire for collision assessment systems on public transportation. For this application, video analysis is broadly accepted as a cornerstone. For trams, the localization of tramway tracks is an essential ingredient of such a system, in order to estimate a safety margin for crossing traffic participants. Tramway-track detection is a challenging task due to the urban environment with clutter, sharp curves and occlusions of the track. In this paper, we present a novel and generic system to detect the tramway track in advance of the tram position. The system incorporates an inverse perspective mapping and a-priori geometry knowledge of the rails to find possible track segments. The contribution of this paper involves the creation of a new track reconstruction algorithm which is based on graph theory. To this end, we define track segments as vertices in a graph, in which edges represent feasible connections. This graph is then converted to a max-cost arborescence graph, and the best path is selected according to its location and additional temporal information based on a maximum a-posteriori estimate. The proposed system clearly outperforms a railway-track detector. Furthermore, the system performance is validated on 3,600 manually annotated frames. The obtained results are promising, where straight tracks are found in more than 90% of the images and complete curves are still detected in 35% of the cases.