Computer Vision System Toolbox

Traffic Warning Sign Recognition

This example shows how to recognize traffic warning signs, such as Stop, Do Not Enter, and Yield, in a color video sequence.

Watch the Traffic Warning Sign Recognition example.

Example Model

The following figure shows the Traffic Warning Sign Recognition model:

Traffic Warning Sign Templates

The example uses two set of templates - one for detection and the other for recognition.

To save computation, the detection templates are low resolution, and the example uses one detection template per sign. Also, because the red pixels are the distinguishing feature of the traffic warning signs, the example uses these pixels in the detection step.

For the recognition step, accuracy is the highest priority. So, the example uses three high resolution templates for each sign. Each of these templates shows the sign in a slightly different orientation. Also, because the white pixels are the key to recognizing each traffic warning sign, the example uses these pixels in the recognition step.

The Detection Templates window shows the traffic warning sign detection templates.

The Recognition Templates window shows the traffic warning sign recognition templates.

The templates were generated using vipwarningsigns_templates.m and were stored in vipwarningsigns_templates.mat.


The example analyzes each video frame in the YCbCr color space. By thresholding and performing morphological operations on the Cr channel, the example extracts the portions of the video frame that contain blobs of red pixels. Using the Blob Analysis block, the example finds the pixels and bounding box for each blob. The example then compares the blob with each warning sign detection template. If a blob is similar to any of the traffic warning sign detection templates, it is a potential traffic warning sign.

Tracking and Recognition

The example compares the bounding boxes of the potential traffic warning signs in the current video frame with those in the previous frame. Then the example counts the number of appearances of each potential traffic warning sign.

If a potential sign is detected in 4 contiguous video frames, the example compares it to the traffic warning sign recognition templates. If the potential traffic warning sign is similar enough to a traffic warning sign recognition template in 3 contiguous frames, the example considers the potential traffic warning sign to be an actual traffic warning sign.

When the example has recognized a sign, it continues to track it. However, to save computation, it no longer continues to recognize it.


After a potential sign has been detected in 4 or more video frames, the example uses the Draw Shape block to draw a yellow rectangle around it. When a sign has been recognized, the example uses the Insert Text block to write the name of the sign on the video stream. The example uses the term 'Tag' to indicate the order in which the sign is detected.

Traffic Warning Sign Recognition Results