Lane Marking/Striping to Improve Image Processing Lane Departure Warning Systems
One of the major initiatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program is the Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety Systems (IVBSS) initiative. This initiative aims to demonstrate the technologies necessary to equip all new vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems that would help drivers avoid the most common types of deadly crashes. The systems that are being utilized for this purpose can be classified into three categories: rear-end collision avoidance, road departure collision avoidance, and lane change/merge collision avoidance.
Lane departure warning systems (LDWS) provide an effective countermeasure against road departure collisions, many of which occur due to driver drowsiness or distraction. A number of technologies have been used as bases for LDWS. These include active wire guidance, laser, magnetic sensing technologies, differential global positioning systems (DGPS) and image processing technologies. A large proportion of the commercial development has concentrated on image processing based systems. Image recognition-based LDWS use image recognition software that analyze the images collected by a small camera to track the pavement markings and predict when a vehicle performs an unintended drift out of the travel lane, typically due to driverís drowsiness, distraction or inattention. If the car begins to deviate from the lane unintentionally (i.e., without a turn signal), LDWS warn drivers using an audible, visual, and/or tactile warning signal.
Because lane-departure warning systems depend on lane marking tracking, it is logical to hypothesize that the visibility of these markings under different weather and lighting conditions could affect the performance of LDWS. This project tests the performance of lane departure warning systems under different weather and lighting conditions. In addition, the project investigates if improvements made to lane marking installations and maintenance provide an effective counter measure against run-off-road and sideswipe crashes, based on detailed benefit-cost analyses. A survey of current users of LDWS has identified user perceptions of the systems.