“Ease of Driving” Road Classification for Night-time Driving Conditions
This paper is an extension of our previous work on the CHASE (Classification by Holistic Analysis of Scene Environment) algorithm, that automatically classifies the driving complexity of a road scene image during day-time conditions and assigns it an ‘Ease of Driving’ (EoD) score. At night, apart from traffic variations and road type conditions, illumination changes are a major predominant factor that affect the road visibility and the driving easiness. In order to resolve the problem of analyzing the driving complexity of roads at night, a brightness detection module is incorporated in our end-to-end nighttime EoD system, which computes the ‘brightness factor’ (bright or dark) for that given night-time road scene. The brightness factor along with a multi-level machine learning classifier is then used to classify the EoD score for a night-time road scene. Our end-to-end ‘Night-time EoD system’ is a real-time onboard system implemented and tested on road scene data collected in Japan.