An experimental study of a lane departure warning system based on the optical flow and Hough transform methods

Gregory Taubel, Rohit Sharma, Jiann-Shiou Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The use of rumble strips on roads can provide drivers lane departure warning (LDW). However, rumble strips require an infrastructure and do not exist on a majority of roadways. Therefore, it is very desirable to have an effective in-vehicle LDW system to detect when the driver is in danger of departing the road and then triggers an alarm to warn the driver early enough to take corrective action. This paper presents the development of an image-based LDW system using the Lucas-Kanade (L-K) optical flow and the Hough transform methods. Our approach integrates both techniques to establish an operation algorithm to determine whether a warning signal should be issued based on the status of the vehicle deviating from its heading lane. The L-K optical flow tracking is used when the lane boundaries cannot be detected, while the lane detection technique is used when they become available. Even though both techniques are used in the system, only one method is activated at any given time because each technique has its own advantages and also disadvantages. The developed LDW system was road tested on several rural highways and also one section of the interstate I-35 freeway. Overall, the system operates correctly as expected with a false alarm occurred only roughly about 1.18% of the operation time. This paper presents the system implementation together with our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalWSEAS Transactions on Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Hough transform
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lucas-Kanade optical flow


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