A review on automatic detection and recognition of traffic sign


Evidently, Intelligent Transport System (ITS) has progressed tremendously all its way. The core of ITS are detection and recognition of traffic sign, which are designated to fulfill safety and comfort needs of driver. This paper provides a critical review on three major steps in Automatic Traffic Sign Detection and Recognition(ATSDR) system i.e., segmentation, detection and recognition in the context of vision based driver assistance system. In addition, it focuses on different experimental setups of image acquisition system. Further, discussion on possible future research challenges is made to make ATSDR more efficient, which inturn produce a wide range of opportunities for the researchers to carry out the detailed analysis of ATSDR and to incorporate the future aspects in their research.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11


  1. 1.

    Abukhait J, Abdel-Qader I, Oh J-S, Abudayyeh O (2012) Road sign detection and shape recognition invariant to sign defects. In: EIT. USA, pp 1–6

  2. 2.

    Barnes N, Zelinsky A (2004) Real-time radial symmetry for speed sign detection. In: IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. Italy, pp 566–571

  3. 3.

    Barnes N, Zelinsky A, Fletcher L (2008) Real-time speed sign detection using the radial symmetry detector. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 9(2):322–332

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Baró X, Escalera S, Vitrià J, Pujol O, Radeva P (2009) Traffic sign recognition using evolutionary adaboost detection and forest-ecoc classification. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 10(1):113–126

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Belaroussi R, Tarel J-P (2009) Angle vertex and bisector geometric model for triangular road sign detection. In: WACV. USA, pp 1–7

  6. 6.

    Belaroussi R, Tarel J-P (2009) A real-time road sign detection using bilateral chinese transform. In: ISVC (2). Las Vegas, pp 1161–1170

  7. 7.

    Belaroussi R, Foucher P, Tarel J-P, Soheilian B, Charbonnier P, Paparoditis N (2010) Road sign detection in images: a case study. In: ICPR. Istanbul, pp 484–488

  8. 8.

    Benallal M, Meunier J (2003) Real-time color segmentation of road signs. In: CCECE, pp 1823–1826

  9. 9.

    Boumediene M, Cudel C, Basset M, Ouamri A (2013) Triangular traffic signs detection based on rsld algorithm. Mach Vis Appl 24(8):1721–1732

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Cardarelli E, Medici P, Porta P P, Ghisio G (2009) Road signs shapes detection based on sobel phase analysis. In: Procs.IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. Xian, pp 376–381

  11. 11.

    Chiang H-H, Chen Y-L, Wang W-Q, Lee T-T (2010) Road speed sign recognition using edge-voting principle and learning vector quantization network. In: ICS. Taiwan, pp 246–251

  12. 12.

    Creusen I, Wijnhoven R G J, Herbschleb E, de With P (2010) Color exploitation in hog-based traffic sign detection. In: Proc IEEE ICIP. Hong Kong, pp 2669–2672

  13. 13.

    de la Escalera A, Armingol JM, Mata M (2003) Traffic sign recognition and analysis for intelligent vehicles. Image Vis Comput 21(3):247–258

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    de la Escalera A, Armingol JM, Pastor JM, Rodríguez FJ (2004) Visual sign information extraction and identification by deformable models for intelligent vehicles. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 5(2):57–68

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Eichner M L, Breckon T (2008) Integrated speed limit detection and recognition from real-time video. In: Proc. IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. Eindhoven, pp 626–631

  16. 16.

    Fang C-Y, Chen S-W, Fuh C-S (2003) Road-sign detection and tracking. IEEE T Veh Technol 52(5):1329–1341

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Fleyeh H (2006) Shadow and highlight invariant colour segmentation algorithm for traffic signs. In: IEEE conf. on cybernetics and intelligent systems. Bangkokl, pp 1–7

  18. 18.

    Fleyeh H, Dougherty M, Aenugula D, Baddam S (2007) Invariant road sign recognition with fuzzy artmap and zernike moments. In: IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium, istanbul. Turkey, pp 31–36

  19. 19.

    Fleyeh H, Dougherty M (2008) Traffic sign classification using invariant features and support vector machines. In: Procs. IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. Netherlands, pp 530–535

  20. 20.

    Fleyeh H (2009) Traffic signs database

  21. 21.

    Fleyeh H, Davami E (2011) Eigen-based traffic sign recognition. IET Intell Transp Syst 5(3):190–196

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Gao X W, Podladchikova L, Shaposhnikov D, Hong K, Shevtsova N (2006) Recognition of traffic signs based on their colour and shape features extracted using human vision models. J Vis Commun Image Represent 17(4):675–685

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Gao XW, Hong K, Passmore P, Podladchikova L, Shaposhnikov D (2008) Colour vision model-based approach for segmentation of traffic signs. EURASIP J Image Video Process 2008(386705):1–7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Gao X (2011) A collection of benchmark images for traffic sign research. In: ICDSP. Corfu, pp 1–6

  25. 25.

    Ghica R, Lu S, Yuan X (1994) Recognition of traffic signs using a multilayer neural network. In: Proceedings of the Canadian conference on electrical and computer engineering

  26. 26.

    Gil-Jimenez P, Gomez-Moreno H, Siegmann P, Lafuente-Arroyo S, Maldonado-Bascon S (2007) Traffic sign shape classification based on support vector machines and the FFT of the signature of blobs. In: IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. Istanbul, pp 375–380

  27. 27.

    Gil Jiménez P, Bascón S M, Moreno H G, Arroyo S L, Ferreras F L (2008) Traffic sign shape classification and localization based on the normalized fft of the signature of blobs and 2d homographies. Signal Process 88(12):2943–2955

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Gómez-Moreno H, Maldonado-Bascón S, Gil-Jiménez P, Lafuente-Arroyo S (2010) Goal evaluation of segmentation algorithms for traffic sign recognition. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 11(4):917– 930

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Greenhalgh J, Mirmehdi M (2012) Real-time detection and recognition of road traffic signs. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 13(4):1498–1506

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Grigorescu C, Petkov N (2003) Distance sets for shape filters and shape recognition. IEEE Trans Image Process 12(10):1274–1286

    MathSciNet  Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Gu Y, Yendo T, Tehrani M P, Fujii T, Tanimoto M (2010) A new vision system for traffic sign recognition. In: IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. USA, pp 7–12

  32. 32.

    Gu Y, Yendo T, Tehrani M P, Fujii T, Tanimoto M (2011) Traffic sign detection in dual-focal active camera system. In: IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. Germany, 1054–1059

  33. 33.

    Gudigar A, Jagadale B, Mahesh P K, Raghavendra U (2012) Kernel based automatic traffic sign detection and recognition using svm. In: Eco-friendly computing and communication systems, ser. CCIS, vol 305. India, pp 153–161

  34. 34.

    Han L, Ding L, Qi L (2002) Real-time recognition of road traffic sign in moving scene image using genetic algorithm. In: Proc. 1st. int. conf. mach.learn. cybern, vol 2, pp 83–86

  35. 35.

    Houben S (2011) A single target voting scheme for traffic sign detection. In: IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. Germany, pp 124–129

  36. 36.

    Hsu S-H, Huang C-L (2001) Road sign detection and recognition using matching pursuit method. Image Vis Comput 19(3):119–129

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Ishizuka Y, Hirai Y (2004) Segmentation of road sign symbols using opponent-color filters. In: Proc. ITSWC2004. Nagoya, pp 18–24

  38. 38.

    Janssen H Method and device for traffic sign recognition and navigation, May 6 2003, uS Patent 6,560,529. [Online]. Available: http://www.google.com/patents/US6560529

  39. 39.

    Kastner R, Michalke T, Burbach TJ, Fritsch T, Goerick C (2010) Attention-based traffic sign recognition with an array of weak classifiers. In: IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. USA, pp 333–339

  40. 40.

    Keller C G, Sprunk C, Bahlmann C, Giebel J, Baratoff G (2008) Real-time recognition of u.s. speed signs. In: IEEE IV intelligent vehicles symposium. Netherlands, pp 518–523

  41. 41.

    Khan J F, Bhuiyan S M A, Adhami R R (2011) Image segmentation and shape analysis for road-sign detection. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 12(1):83–96

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Kiran CG, Prabhu LV, Abdu RV, Rajeev K (2009) Traffic sign detection and pattern recognition using support vector machine. In: ICAPR. India, pp 87–90

  43. 43.

    Koncar A, Janíen H, Halgamuge S (2007) Gabor wavelet similarity maps for optimising hierarchical road sign classifiers. Pattern Recogn Lett 28(2):260–267

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Kuo W-J, Lin C-C (2007) Two-stage road sign detection and recognition. In: IEEE international conference on multimedia and expo. Beijing, pp 1427–1430

  45. 45.

    Kus M, Gokmen M, Etaner-Uyar S (2008) Traffic sign recognition using scale invariant feature transform and color classification. In: ISCIS. Istanbul, pp 1–6

  46. 46.

    Larsson F, Felsberg M (2011) Using fourier descriptors and spatial models for traffic sign recognition. In: SCIA, ser. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 6688. Springer, pp 238–249

  47. 47.

    Li Y, Pankanti S, Guan W (2010) Real-time traffic sign detection: an evaluation study. In: ICPR. Istanbul, pp 3033–3036

  48. 48.

    Loy G B, Barnes N M (2004) Fast shape-based road sign detection for a driver assistance system. In: IROS. Japan, pp 70–75

  49. 49.

    Lu K, Ding Z, Ge S (2012) Sparse-representation-based graph embedding for traffic sign recognition. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 13(4):1515–1524

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Maldonado-Bascón S, Lafuente-Arroyo S, Gil-Jiménez P, Gómez-Moreno H, López-Ferreras F (2007) Road-sign detection and recognition based on support vector machines. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 8(2):264–278

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    Maldonado Bascón S, Acevedo Rodríguez J, Lafuente Arroyo S, Fernndez Caballero A, López-Ferreras F (2010) An optimization on pictogram identification for the road-sign recognition task using svms. Comput Vis Image Underst 114 (3):373–383

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    Mathias M, Timofte R, Benenson R, Van Gool L (2013) Traffic sign recognition - how far are we from the solution? In: IJCNN. USA, pp 1–8

  53. 53.

    Miura J, Kanda T, Shirai Y (2000) An active vision system for real-time traffic sign recognition. In: IEEE intelligent tranportion symposium. Dearborn, pp 52–57

  54. 54.

    Mogelmose A, Trivedi M M, Moeslund T B (2012) Vision-based traffic sign detection and analysis for intelligent driver assistance systems: perspectives and survey. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 13(4):1484–1497

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    Nguwi Y-Y, Kouzani AZ (2008) Detection and classification of road signs in natural environments. Neural Comput Appl 17(3):265–289

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. 56.

    Paclík P, Novovicová J, Pudil P, Somol P (2000) Road sign classification using laplace kernel classifier. Pattern Recog Lett 21(13-14):1165–1173

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  57. 57.

    Paclík P, Novovicová J, Duin RPW (2006) Building road-sign classifiers using a trainable similarity measure. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst 7(3):309–321

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. 58.

    Parada-Loira F, Alba-Castro J L (2010) Local contour patterns for fast traffic sign detection. In: IEEE intelligent vehicles symposium. San Diego, pp 1–6

  59. 59.

    Pazhoumand-dar H, Yaghoobi M (2013) A new approach in road sign recognition based on fast fractal coding. Neural Comput Appl 22(3–4):615–625

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. 60.

    Piccioli G, Micheli E D, Parodi P, Campani M (1996) Robust method for road sign detection and recognition. Image Vis Comput 14(3):209–223

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Priese L, Klieber J, Lakmann R, Rehrmann V, Schian R (1994) New results on traffic sign recognition. In: IEEE the intelligent vehicles symposium. Paris, pp 249–254

  62. 62.

    Porikli F, Ruta A Method for recognizing traffic signs, Oct. 18 2011, uS Patent 8,041,080. [Online]. Available: http://www.google.co.in/patents/US8041080

  63. 63.

    Ritter W, Stein F, Janssen R (1995) Traffic sign recognition using colour information. Math Comput Model 22(4–7):149–161

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  64. 64.

    Ruta A, Li Y, Liu X (2010) Real-time traffic sign recognition from video by class-specific discriminative features. Pattern Recogn 43(1):416–430

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  65. 65.

    Ruta A, Porikli F, Shintaro W, Li Y (2011) In-vehicle camera traffic sign detection and recognition. Mach Vis Appl 22(2):359–375

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. 66.

    Segu M, Prieto, Allen A R (2009) Using self-organising maps in the detection and recognition of road signs. Image Vision Comput 27(6):673–683

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. 67.

    Soetedjo A., Yamada K (2007) A new approach on red color thresholding for traffic sign recognition system. J Japan Soc Fuzzy Theory Intell Inform 19(5):457–465

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. 68.

    Souani C, Faiedh H, Besbes K (2014) Efficient algorithm for automatic road sign recognition and its hardware implementation. J Real-Time Image Process 9(1):79–93

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. 69.

    Stallkamp J, Schlipsing M, Salmen J, Igel C (2011) The german traffic sign recognition benchmark: A multi-class classification competition. In: IJCNN. USA, pp. 1453–1460

  70. 70.

    Stallkamp J, Schlipsing M, Salmen J, Igel C (2012) Man vs. computer: benchmarking machine learning algorithms for traffic sign recognition. Neural Netw 32:323–332

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. 71.

    Stein G P, Gdalyahu Y, Shashua A (2010) Stereo-assist: top-down stereo for driver assistance systems. In: Intelligent vehicles symposium. USA, pp 723–730

  72. 72.

    Stein G, Shachar O, Taieb Y, Wolfovitz U Detecting and recognizing traffic signs, Nov. 22 2011, uS Patent 8,064,643. [Online]. Available: http://www.google.co.in/patents/US8064643

  73. 73.

    Stromme O Automatic traffic sign recognition, Nov. 2 2004, uS Patent 6,813,545. [Online]. Available: http://www.google.com/patents/US6813545

  74. 74.

    Timofte R, Zimmermann K, Gool L J V (2009) Multi-view traffic sign detection, recognition, and 3d localisation. In: WACV. USA, pp 1–8

  75. 75.

    Xu S (2009) Robust traffic sign shape recognition using geometric matching. IET Intell Transp Syst 3(1):10–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. 76.

    Zaklouta F, Stanciulescu B (2014) Real-time traffic sign recognition in three stages. Robot Auton Syst 62(1):16–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. 77.

    Yang H-M, Liu C-L, Liu K-H, Huang S-M (2003) Traffic sign recognition in disturbing environments. In ISMIS, ser. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 2871. Springer, pp 252–261

  78. 78.

    Yang X, Qu Y, Fang S (2012) Color fused multiple features for traffic sign recognition. In: ICIMCS’12. China, pp 84–87

  79. 79.

    Zadeh M, Kasvand T, Suen C (1998) Localization and recognition of traffic road signs for automated vehicle control systems. In: Proceedings of the SPIE intelligent system and automated manufacturing, pp 272–282

  80. 80.

    Zaklouta F, Stanciulescu B, Hamdoun O (2011) Traffic sign classification using k-d trees and random forests. In: IJCNN. USA, pp 2151–2155

  81. 81.

    Zhu Y, Wang X, Yao C, Bai X (2013) Traffic sign classification using two-layer image representation. In: ICIP. Melbourne, pp 3755–3759

Download references


The authors would like to express their gratitude to the reviewers and the chief editor for their valuable suggestions, which have significantly improved the presentation of this paper.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anjan Gudigar.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gudigar, A., Chokkadi, S. & U, R. A review on automatic detection and recognition of traffic sign. Multimed Tools Appl 75, 333–364 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-014-2293-7

Download citation


  • Classification
  • Detection
  • Image acquisition
  • Intelligent transport system
  • Safety
  • Segmentation