Conference Proceeding

Traffic Sign Detection and Identification

  • Vaughan W Inman (SAIC, McLean, VA)
  • Brian H Philips (Federal Highway Administration, McLean, VA)


Previous studies using eye-trackers have suggested that drivers can extract information from traffic signs and markings without fixating them. The first study reported here examined the angle of gaze away from signs that enables sign detection: detection conspicuity angle. A second study examined the angle of gaze away from signs that enables identification of the signs’ messages: identification conspicuity angle. Because conspicuity is viewed as a product of the properties of objects and their surrounding environment, both studies manipulated the background of the signs. Detection conspicuity was sensitive to the background environment, particularly for regulatory signs, for which detection conspicuity was reduced with light-colored or cluttered backgrounds. Background environment had little measureable effect on sign message identification. It is recommended that sign backgrounds be considered when locating signs, and that if the background does not provide adequate contrast, conspicuity enhancement strategies should be considered.

How to Cite:

Inman, V. & Philips, B., (2013) “Traffic Sign Detection and Identification”, Driving Assessment Conference 7(2013), 306-312. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2013 the author(s)

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Published on
19 Jun 2013
Peer Reviewed