Conference Proceeding

Using Manual Measurements on Event Recorder Video and Image Processing Algorithms to Extract Optical Parameters and Range

  • Jonas Bärgman (Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden)
  • Julia Werneke (Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden)
  • Christian-Nills Boda (Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden)
  • Johan Engström (AB Volvo, Göteborg, Sweden)
  • Kip Smith (Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA)


Vehicle kinematics and optical parameters such as optical angle, optical expansion rate, and tau are thought to underlie drivers’ ability to avoid and handle critical traffic situations. Analyses of these parameters in naturalistic driving data with video, such as commercial event recordings of near-crashes and crashes, can provide insight into driver behavior in critical traffic situations. This paper describes a pair of methods, one for the range to a lead vehicle and one for its optical angle, that are derived from image processing mathematics and that provide driver behavior researchers with a relatively simple way to extract optical parameters from video-based naturalistic data when automatic image processing is not possible. The methods begin with manual measurements of the size of other road users on a video on a screen. To develop the methods, 20 participants manually measured the width of a lead vehicle on 14 images where the lead vehicle was placed at different distances from the camera. An on-market DriveCam Event Recorder was used to capture these images. A linear model that corrects distortion and modeling optics was developed to transform the on-screen measurements distance (range) to and optical angle of the vehicle. The width of the confidence interval for predicted range is less than 0.1m when the actual distance is less than 10m and the lead-vehicle width estimate is correct. The methods enable driver behavior researchers to easily and accurately estimate useful kinematic and optical parameters from videos (e.g., of crashes and nearcrashes) in event-based naturalistic driving data.

How to Cite:

Bärgman, J. & Werneke, J. & Boda, C. & Engström, J. & Smith, K., (2013) “Using Manual Measurements on Event Recorder Video and Image Processing Algorithms to Extract Optical Parameters and Range”, Driving Assessment Conference 7(2013), 177-183. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2013 the author(s)

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Published on
18 Jun 2013
Peer Reviewed