A self-organizing neural scheme for road detection in varied environments

Neural Networks (IJCNN), The 2011 International Joint Conference on

Detection of a drivable space is a key step in the autonomous control of a vehicle. In this paper we propose an adaptive vision based algorithm for road detection in diverse outdoor conditions. Our novel approach employs feature based classification and uses the Kohonen Self-Organizing Map (SOM) for the purpose of road detection. The robustness of the algorithm lies in the unique ability of SOM to organize information while learning diverse inputs. Features used for the training and testing of SOM are identified. The proposed method is capable of working with structured as well as unstructured roads and noisy environments that may be encountered by an intelligent vehicle. The proposed technique is extensively compared with the k-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) algorithm. Results show that SOM outperforms KNN in classification consistency and is independent to the lighting conditions while taking comparable classification time which shows that the network can also be used as an online learning architecture.