Vision systems play an important role in many intelligent transportation systems (ITS) applications, such as traffic monitoring, traffic law reinforcement, driver assistance, and automatic vehicle guidance. These systems installed in either outdoor environments or vehicles have often suffered from image instability. In this paper, a video stabilization technique for a camcorder mounted on a moving vehicle is presented. The proposed approach takes full advantage of the a priori information of traffic images, significantly reducing the computational and time complexities. There are four major steps involved in the proposed approach: global feature extraction, camcorder motion estimation, motion taxonomy, and image compensation. We begin with extracting the global features of lane lines and the road vanishing point from the input image. The extracted features are then combined with those detected in previous images to compute the camcorder motion corresponding to the current input image. The computed motion consists of both expected and unexpected components. They are discriminated and the expected motion component is further smoothed. The resulting motion is next integrated with a predicted motion, which is extrapolated from the previous desired camcorder motions, leading to the desired camcorder motion associated with the input image under consideration. The current input image is finally stabilized based on the computed desired camcorder motion using an image transformation technique. A series of experiments with both real and synthetic data have been conducted. The experimental results have revealed the effectiveness of the proposed technique.
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