DOI: 10.1155/2023/5384844 ISSN: 2042-3195

Accurate Detection and Tracking of Small-Scale Vehicles in High-Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Bird-View Imagery

Heshan Zhang, Xin Tan, Mengwei Fan, Cunshu Pan, Zhanji Zheng, Shuang Luo, Jin Xu
  • Strategy and Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Automotive Engineering

Vehicle detection and tracking from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aerial images are among the main tasks of intelligent traffic systems. Especially in tasks with long distances, extensive backgrounds, and small objects, it increases the difficulty of localization and regression, which can easily lead to missed detections and false positives. This paper proposes a detection-based small-scale vehicle tracking framework that integrates an improved YOLOX network and the DeepSORT algorithm to address these issues. Based on the original YOLOX network, a shallow feature extraction network, 160 × 160 pixels, is added to enhance the ability to extract small-scale object features. A convolutional block attention module (CBAM) is inserted in front of the neck network to select crucial information for vehicle detection tasks while suppressing noncritical ones. EIoU_Loss is introduced as the bounding box regression loss function in training to speed up their convergence and improve the localization accuracy of the small objects. Furthermore, an image segmentation method is proposed to effectively reduce missed and false detection events. It divides the original high-definition image into multiple subimages, first detected and then reassembled. Finally, the improved YOLOX network is used as the detector of the DeepSORT to perform small-scale vehicle detection and tracking tasks in various traffic scenarios. Experiments show that the proposed method can significantly improve the detection accuracy of the network and effectively solve the problems of missed detection and false positives in small-scale vehicle tracking tasks in high-resolution aerial images captured by high-altitude UAVs. Significantly, the algorithm proposed in this paper has sufficient robustness for small-scale tracking tasks of aerial videos captured at different altitudes.

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