A new paper introduces an advanced detector with a lightweight design and attention mechanism, achieving over 12% improvement in detecting vulnerable road users in real-time with significantly reduced parameters and faster processing, marking a significant step forward for intelligent traffic monitoring systems.

Jian Shi, Dongxian Sun, Minh Le Kieu, Guo Baicang, Ming Gao

Please read the abstract for a detailed overview:


The precise and real-time detection of vulnerable road users (VRUs) using infrastructure-sensors-enabled devices is crucial for the advancement of intelligent traffic monitoring systems. To overcome the prevalent inefficiencies in VRU detection, this paper introduces an enhanced detector that utilizes a lightweight backbone network integrated with a parameterless attention mechanism. This integration significantly enhances the feature extraction capability for small targets within high-resolution images. Additionally, the design features a streamlined ‘neck’ and a dynamic detection head, both augmented with a pruning algorithm to reduce the model’s parameter count and ensure a compact architecture. In collaboration with the specialized engineering dataset De_VRU, the model was deployed on the Hisilicon_Hi3516DV300 platform, specifically designed for infrastructure units. Rigorous ablation studies, employing YOLOv7-tiny as the baseline, confirm the detector’s efficacy on the BDD100K and LLVIP datasets. The model not only achieved an improvement of over 12% in the mAP@50 metric but also realized a reduction in parameter count by more than 40%, and a 50% decrease in inference time. Visualization outcomes and a case study illustrate the detector’s proficiency in conducting real-time detection with high-resolution imagery, underscoring its practical applicability.

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