Pedestrian Detection at Day/Night Time with Visible and FIR Cameras: A Comparison

Sensors (Basel). 2016 Jun 4;16(6):820. doi: 10.3390/s16060820.


Despite all the significant advances in pedestrian detection brought by computer vision for driving assistance, it is still a challenging problem. One reason is the extremely varying lighting conditions under which such a detector should operate, namely day and nighttime. Recent research has shown that the combination of visible and non-visible imaging modalities may increase detection accuracy, where the infrared spectrum plays a critical role. The goal of this paper is to assess the accuracy gain of different pedestrian models (holistic, part-based, patch-based) when training with images in the far infrared spectrum. Specifically, we want to compare detection accuracy on test images recorded at day and nighttime if trained (and tested) using (a) plain color images; (b) just infrared images; and (c) both of them. In order to obtain results for the last item, we propose an early fusion approach to combine features from both modalities. We base the evaluation on a new dataset that we have built for this purpose as well as on the publicly available KAIST multispectral dataset.

Keywords: day/nighttime; far infrared; pedestrian detection.