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ADAS to Autonomous: Traffic Sign Recognition

When driving on congested roads, it is sometimes difficult to keep eyes everywhere at once. Checking the road ahead, oncoming traffic, what’s behind the car, all while trying to maintain a speed can sometimes become quite distracting.

Car firms realised this and are constantly looking to introduce new technologies to make driving safer.

Traffic sign recognition reads upcoming road signs and displays them electronically on a car’s dashboard.

The technology uses a front-facing camera to pick up this information. Once it detects upcoming traffic signs, character recognition software interprets what the sign is displaying and relays it onto the dashboard and/or infotainment display.

It will remain there until a change is recognised, such as when the speed limit changes, the new sign will be displayed.

Traffic sign recognition can be a useful piece of an extra pack. There is a lot to watch out for when driving on the roads today, so a constant display of the prevailing speed limit could be invaluable if a driver happens to miss the last speed sign.

Although, traffic sign recognition is not fool proof. The technology can sometimes miss signs, especially if they are obscured. Some systems will also fail to detect changes in the electronic speed signs commonly found on smart motorways – motorways that vary the number of lanes open and speed limit in order to improve safety and maintain traffic flow.

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