Computer Engineering Paper Massimo Bertozzi, Alberto Broggi, and Alessandra Fascioli, A Stereo Vision System for Real-Time Automotive Obstacle Detection, In Proceedings ICIP - Third IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, Lausanne, CH, September 16-19 1996. IEEE Signal Processing Society,
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This work presents a system for obstacle detection in pair of images acquired by a stereo vision device installed on a moving vehicle. The whole system is structured in a pipeline of two different computational engines: a massively parallel architecture, PAPRICA, devoted to low-level image processing and a traditional serial architecture running medium-level tasks. A geometrical transformation, based on the assumption of a flat road in front of the vehicle, is performed to remove the perspective effect from both images. The difference between the results is used for the detection of free-space in front of the vehicle, thus allowing to avoid the high computational tasks involved in {\em traditional\/} stereo vision approaches; the geometrical transformation is performed by a specific hardware device integrated in PAPRICA architecture. The system was tested on MOB-LAB experimental land vehicle, which was driven for more than 3000 km along extra-urban roads and freeways at speeds up to 80 km/h, and demonstrated its robustness with respect to shadows and changing illumination conditions, different road textures, and vehicle movement.

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