Traffic Light Recognition Using Deep Learning and Prior Maps for Autonomous Cars

Name: Lucas Caetano Possatti
Type: MSc dissertation
Publication date: 21/10/2019
Advisor:

Namesort ascending Role
Thiago Oliveira dos Santos Advisor *

Examining board:

Namesort ascending Role
Thiago Oliveira dos Santos Advisor *
Karin Satie Komati External Examiner *
Alberto Ferreira De Souza Internal Examiner *

Summary: At complex intersections, human drivers can easily identify which traffic lights are relevant
for the route they intend to follow, and what are their states (red, yellow, or green).
However, this remains a challenging task for autonomous vehicles. In the literature, an
effective solution to this problem is to merge traffic light recognition with prior maps of
traffic lights. Deep learning techniques have showed great performance and power of
generalization including for traffic related problems. Motivated by the advances in deep
learning, some recent works leveraged some state-of-the-art deep detectors to locate traffic
lights and classify their state from 2D camera images. However, none of them combine
the power of deep learning-based detectors with prior maps to identify the state of
the relevant traffic lights. Based on that, this work proposes to integrate the power of
deep learning-based detection with prior maps of traffic light into our car platform, IARA
(acronym for Intelligent Autonomous Robotic Automobile), to recognize the relevant traffic
lights of predefined routes. The process is divided in two phases: an offline phase for map
construction and traffic lights annotation; and an online phase for traffic light recognition
and identification of the relevant ones. Two different types of model for detection and
classification of traffic lights are approached. One is a single model, deep learning detector,
that detects and classify the state of traffic lights in a single step. The other uses a deep
learning detector for locating traffic lights, and a separate model for classifying their states.
The proposed system was evaluated on five test cases (routes) in the city of Vitória, each
case being composed of a video sequence and a prior map of relevant traffic lights for the
route. Results showed that the proposed technique is able to correctly identify the relevant
traffic light along the trajectory.

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