GLARE: A Dataset for Traffic Sign Detection in Sun Glare

Nicholas Gray, Megan Moraes, Jiang Bian, Allen Tian, Alex Wang, Haoyi Xiong, Zhishan Guo

Real-time machine learning detection algorithms are often found within autonomous vehicle technology and depend on quality datasets. It is essential that these algorithms work correctly in everyday conditions as well as under strong sun glare. Reports indicate glare is one of the two most prominent environment-related reasons for crashes. However, existing datasets, such as LISA and the German Traffic Sign Recognition Benchmark, do not reflect the existence of sun glare at all. This paper presents the GLARE traffic sign dataset: a collection of images with U.S based traffic signs under heavy visual interference by sunlight. GLARE contains 2,157 images of traffic signs with sun glare, pulled from 33 videos of dashcam footage of roads in the United States. It provides an essential enrichment to the widely used LISA Traffic Sign dataset. Our experimental study shows that although several state-of-the-art baseline methods demonstrate superior performance when trained and tested against traffic sign datasets without sun glare, they greatly suffer when tested against GLARE (e.g., ranging from 9% to 21% mean mAP, which is significantly lower than the performances on LISA dataset). We also notice that current architectures have better detection accuracy (e.g., on average 42% mean mAP gain for mainstream algorithms) when trained on images of traffic signs in sun glare.

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