Nighttime Visibility Analysis &Estimation Method in Dense Fog
Abstract—Compared with daytime, a larger proportion of road accidents happens during nighttime. The altered visibility for drivers partially explains this situation. It becomes worse when dense fog is present. In this paper, we first define a standard night visibility index, which allows specifying the type of fog that an advanced driver assistance system should recognize. A methodology to detect the presence of night fog and characterize its density in images grabbed by an in-vehicle camera is then proposed. The detection method relies on the visual effects of night fog. A first approach evaluates the presence of fog around a vehicle due to the detection of the backscattered veil created by the headlamps. Nighttime Visibility Analysis &Estimation Method in Dense Fog In this aim, a correlation index is computed between the current image and a reference image where the fog density is known. It works when the vehicle is alone on a highway without external light sources. A second approach evaluates the presence of fog due to the detection of halos around light sources ahead of the vehicle. It works with oncoming traffic and public lighting. Both approaches are illustrated with actual images of fog. Their complementarity makes it possible to envision a complete night-fog detection system. If fog is detected, its characterization is achieved by fitting the different correlation indexes with an empirical model. Experimental results show the efficiency of the proposed method. The main applications for such a system are, for instance, automation or adaptation of vehicle lights, contextual speed computation, and reliability improvement for camera-based systems.