Estimating three‐dimensional vehicle motion in an outdoor scene using stereo image sequences

Mun K. Leung, Thomas S. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose a motion estimation system that uses stereo image pairs as the input data. To perform experimental work, we also obtain a sequence of outdoor stereo images taken by two metric cameras. The system consists of four main stages, which are (1) determination of point correspondences on the stereo images, (2) correction of distortions in image coordinates, (3) derivation of 3D point coordinates from 2D correspondences, and (4) estimation of motion parameters based on 3D point correspondences. For the first stage of the system, we use a four‐way matching algorithm to obtain matched point on two stereo image pairs at two consecutive time instants (ti and ti + 1). Since the input data are stereo images taken by cameras, it has two types of distortions, which are (i) film distortion and (ii) lens distortion. These two distortions must be corrected before any process can be applied on the matched points. To accomplish this goal, we use (i) bilinear transform for film distortion correction and (ii) lens formulas for lens distortion correction. After correcting the distortions, the results are 2D coordinates of each matched point that can be used to derive 3D coordinates. However, due to data noise, the calculated 3D coordinates to not usually represent a consistent rigid structure that is suitable for motion estimation; therefore, we suggest a procedure to select good 3D point sets as the input for motion estimation. The procedure exploits two constraints, rigidity between different time instants and uniform point distribution across the object on the image. For the last stage, we use an algorithm to estimate the motion parameters. We also wish to know what is the effect of quantization error on the estimated results; therefore an error analysis based on quantization error is performed on the estimated motion parameters. In order to test our system, eight sets of stereo image pairs are extracted from an outdoor stereo image sequence and used as the input data. The experimental results indicate that the proposed system does provide reasonable estimated motion parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-97
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Imaging Systems and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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