This code was written as part of a summer project at IITB. The code is a real time implementation of the Viola-Jones algorithm (OpenCV) for detecting cars in video streams.
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Copyright 2011, 2012 Skand Hurkat

CarDetect is a free software which was written as part of a summer project at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

The ultimate aim of CarDetect is to develop a system which can identify cars in real time video streams, and also their make and model. The system is also supposed to read numberplates and verify them with a database.


CarDetect is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the licence, or (at your option) any later version.

CarDetect is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public Licence for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public Licence along with CarDectect. If not, see


This project uses the OpenCV library for image and video processing.

What has been implemented:

  • Real time identification of cars is possible using the Viola and Jones method (haar cascades) implemented in OpenCV.
  • Multi-threaded identification for faster performance and frame-skips.
  • Numberplates can be read using GOCR, a free and open source OCR engine. This is in separate files; these files are not included in the project.
  • PHOG method is used to detect car models. However, the code has some bugs, and I have not ironed them out.

Still to do:

  • Detecting car models using PHOG (pyramid histogram of oriented gradients) has some bugs. These were corrected later by someone else, but I don't have the modified code.
  • Real time implementation of OCR. GOCR is extremely slow and painful.
  • Integration of all parts of code into a complete unit.

Note to those seeking to collaborate on the project

I have no more interest in this project. This project is hereby made publicly available so that anyone in the academia or industry working on a similar project can use this code (under the terms of the GNU GPL v3 or, at his/her discretion, a higher version of the GNU GPL), thereby saving valuable time to start again from scratch.

However, I would appreciate it if you could provide pull requests for any modifications that you may make to the code. I am sufficiently active to manage merges into this repository, and your contributions would make this project way more awesome.