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Delft University of Technology

1. Ammerlaan, Jelle (author). Traffic Gesture Classification for Intelligent Vehicles.

Degree: 2020, Delft University of Technology

Self-driving vehicles have shown rapid development in recent years and continue to move towards full autonomy. For high or full automation, self-driving vehicles will have to be able to address and solve a broad range of situations, one of which is interaction with traffic agents. For correct and save maneuvering through these situations, reliable detection of agents followed by an accurate classification of the traffic gestures used by agents is essential. This problem has received limited attention in literature to date. The objective of this work is to establish and investigate a working traffic gesture pipeline by leveraging the latest developments in the fields of computer vision and machine learning. This work investigates and compares how well state-of-the-art methods translate to traffic gesture recognition and what application specific problems are encountered. Multiple configurations based on skeletal features, estimated using OpenPose, and classified using recurrent neural networks (RNN) were investigated. Skeleton estimation using OpenPose and feature representations were evaluated using an action recognition dataset with motion capture ground-truth. Three RNN network architectures, varying in complexity and size, were evaluated on traffic gestures. The robustness of the developed system regarding viewpoint variation is explored, combined with the viability of transfer learning for traffic gestures. To train and validate these methods, a new traffic gesture dataset is introduced, on which an mAP of 0,70 is achieved. The results show that the proposed methods are able to classify traffic gestures within reasonable computation time and illustrate the value of transfer learning for gesture recognition. These promising results validate the methodology used and show that this direction warrants further research. Advisors/Committee Members: Flohr, Fabian (mentor), Kooij, Julian (mentor), Gavrila, Dariu (graduation committee), de Winter, Joost (graduation committee), Delft University of Technology (degree granting institution).

Subjects/Keywords: Machine Learning; Intelligent Vehicles; Traffic Gestures; Pose estimation; Gesture recognition

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APA (6th Edition):

Ammerlaan, J. (. (2020). Traffic Gesture Classification for Intelligent Vehicles. (Masters Thesis). Delft University of Technology. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Ammerlaan, Jelle (author). “Traffic Gesture Classification for Intelligent Vehicles.” 2020. Masters Thesis, Delft University of Technology. Accessed February 26, 2021.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Ammerlaan, Jelle (author). “Traffic Gesture Classification for Intelligent Vehicles.” 2020. Web. 26 Feb 2021.


Ammerlaan J(. Traffic Gesture Classification for Intelligent Vehicles. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Delft University of Technology; 2020. [cited 2021 Feb 26]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Ammerlaan J(. Traffic Gesture Classification for Intelligent Vehicles. [Masters Thesis]. Delft University of Technology; 2020. Available from: