The roots of Computer Vision for DSS may be traced back to research about vision-based mobile robots in the late sixties and early seventies. Since the computing power which could be made available on a mobile platform was very limited at that time, the initial flurry of interest abated after some years. Only very few groups continued to work in this area until the digitization and processing of video images became more amenable to experimentation at the beginning of the eighties. The ambitious DARPA `Autonomous Land Vehicle' program re-invigorated civilian research efforts towards vision-based autonomous mobility for indoor as well as outdoor vehicles. This in turn stimulated CV-research for vehicle guidance in the PROMETHEUS framework which had been conceived to cover all aspects of road traffic, not only automatic driving - see, e. g., [Parkes & Franzen 93].
Thorpe ([Thorpe 90]) provides an overview of research at Carnegie Mellon University related to vision-based autonomous road vehicles. This book may simultaneously serve as a representative description of approaches studied during the eighties. A roundtable discussion during the Summer 1990 in Tokyo resulted in a book `Vision-Based Vehicle Guidance' [Masaki 92]. This roundtable discussion gave rise to a series of annual `Intelligent Vehicles Symposia' sponsored by the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. The proceedings of these symposia, starting in 1992, provide an immediate access path to international reseach results related to DSS. Very valuable information can also be gained from a special issue on `Network, Control, Communication and Computing Technologies for Intelligent Transportation Systems' edited by [Amin et al. 95].
A comprehensive, very well balanced assessment of PROMETHEUS efforts has been published by [Braess & Reichart 95]. An in-depth, two volume treatment of contributions by German AI research groups to PROMETHEUS, including CV in the context of driver support systems, can be found in the final PRO-ART report edited by [Nagel 95].