B-Spline Modeling of Road Surfaces With an Application to Free-Space Estimation

Andreas Wedel, Hernàn Badino, Clemens Rabe, Heidi Loose, Uwe Franke, Daniel Cremers


We propose a general technique for modeling the visible road surface in front of a vehicle. The common assumption of a planar road surface is often violated in reality. A workaround proposed in the literature is the use of a piecewise linear or quadratic function to approximate the road surface. Our approach is based on representing the road surface as a general parametric B-spline curve. The surface parameters are tracked over time using a Kalman filter. The surface parameters are estimated from stereo measurements in the free space. To this end, we adopt a recently proposed road-obstacle segmentation algorithm to include disparity measurements and the B-spline road-surface representation. Experimental results in planar and undulating terrain verify the increase in free-space availability and accuracy using a flexible B-spline for road-surface modeling.

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