Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 77, Issue 16, pp 20651–20671 | Cite as

Real-time pedestrian crossing lights detection algorithm for the visually impaired

  • Ruiqi Cheng
  • Kaiwei WangEmail author
  • Kailun Yang
  • Ningbo Long
  • Jian Bai
  • Dong Liu


In defect of intelligent assistant approaches, the visually impaired feel hard to cross the roads in urban environments. Aiming to tackle the problem, a real-time Pedestrian Crossing Lights (PCL) detection algorithm for the visually impaired is proposed in this paper. Different from previous works which utilize analytic image processing to detect the PCL in ideal scenarios, the proposed algorithm detects PCL using machine learning scheme in the challenging scenarios, where PCL have arbitrary sizes and locations in acquired image and suffer from the shake and movement of camera. In order to achieve the robustness and efficiency in those scenarios, the detection algorithm is designed to include three procedures: candidate extraction, candidate recognition and temporal-spatial analysis. A public dataset of PCL, which includes manually labeled ground truth data, is established for tuning parameters, training samples and evaluating the performance. The algorithm is implemented on a portable PC with color camera. The experiments carried out in various practical scenarios prove that the precision and recall of detection are both close to 100%, meanwhile the frame rate is up to 21 frames per second (FPS).


Pedestrian crossing lights detection Real-time video processing Candidate extraction and recognition Temporal-spatial analysis Visually impaired people 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruiqi Cheng
    • 1
  • Kaiwei Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kailun Yang
    • 1
  • Ningbo Long
    • 1
  • Jian Bai
    • 1
  • Dong Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Optical Science and EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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