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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-04-149
Date: December 2005

Enhanced Night Visibility Volume XVIII Overview of III

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U.S. Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration

Research, Development, and Technology

Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

6300 Georgetown Pike

McLean, VA 22101-2296


FOREWORD

The overall goal of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Visibility Research Program is to enhance the safety of road users through near-term improvements of the visibility on and along the roadway. The program also promotes the advancement of new practices and technologies to improve visibility on a cost-effective basis.

The following document provides an overview of the series of studies conducted under Phase III of the Enhanced Night Visibility (ENV) project. The ENV project provided a comprehensive evaluation of evolving and proposed headlamp technologies in various weather conditions. The individual studies within the overall project are documented in an 18-volume series of FHWA reports, of which this is Volume XVIII. It is anticipated that the reader will select those volumes that provide information of specific interest.

This report will be of interest to headlamp designers, automobile manufacturers and consumers, third-party headlamp manufacturers, human factors engineers, and people involved in headlamp and roadway specifications.



 

Michael F. Trentacoste

Director, Office of Safety

Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.


TECHNICAL REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE

1. Report No.
FHWA-HRT-04-149

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle
Enhanced Night Visibility Series Volume XVIII: Overview of Phase III

5. Report Date
December 2005

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)
Jonathan M. Hankey, Shane B. McLaughlin, Ronald B. Gibbons, Vicki H. Williams, Jason Clark, Thomas A. Dingus

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, VA 24061

10. Work Unit No.

11. Contract or Grant No.
DTFH61-98-C-00049

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Safety Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13.Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
HRDS-05

15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR): Carl Andersen, HRDS-05

16. Abstract
This volume provides an overview of the three studies that compose Phase III of the Enhanced Night Visibility project. The first study compared two prototype near infrared (NIR) vision enhancement systems (VESs), an infrared thermal imaging system (IR–TIS), and three headlamp-only systems in terms of drivers' nighttime detection and recognition of 17 objects. The objects included pedestrians on both sides of straight and curved sections of the road, roadway signs, and obstacles. A subset of the VESs and objects also were tested in rain conditions. The results indicated that both NIR and IR–TIS, if correctly implemented, provided additional detection benefit over headlamps alone for pedestrians in clear conditions. In rain conditions, the NIR also benefited object detection. A disability and discomfort glare study was also conducted with four high intensity discharge lamps and one halogen low-beam lamp. The results indicated that maximum illumination was the best predictor of driver discomfort and disability.

17. Key Words
Detection, Disability Glare, Discomfort Glare, Halogen, Headlamp, High Intensity Discharge, Illuminance, Infrared, Night Vision, Pedestrian, Rain, Recognition, Visibility, Vision Enhancement System

18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available through the National Technical Information Service; Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)
Unclassified

20. Security Classif. (of this page)
Unclassified

21. No. of Pages
27

22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)          Reproduction of completed page authorized


SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors


ENHANCED NIGHT VISIBILITY PROJECT REPORT SERIES

This volume is the last of 18 volumes in this research report series. Each volume is a different study or summary, and any reference to a report volume in this series will be referenced in the text as "ENV Volume I," "ENV Volume II," and so forth. A list of the report volumes follows:

Volume Title Report Number
  I           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Executive Summary FHWA-HRT-04-132
  II           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Overview of Phase I and
Development of Phase II Experimental Plan
FHWA-HRT-04-133
  III           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 1: Visual
Performance During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather
FHWA-HRT-04-134
  IV           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 2: Visual
Performance During Nighttime Driving in Rain
FHWA-HRT-04-135
  V           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 3: Visual
Performance During Nighttime Driving in Snow
FHWA-HRT-04-136
  VI           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 4: Visual
Performance During Nighttime Driving in Fog
FHWA-HRT-04-137
  VII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 5: Evaluation of
Discomfort Glare During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather
FHWA-HRT-04-138
  VIII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 6: Detection of
Pavement Markings During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather
FHWA-HRT-04-139
  IX           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Characterization of
Experimental Objects
FHWA-HRT-04-140
  X           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Visual Performance
Simulation Software for Objects and Traffic Control Devices
FHWA-HRT-04-141
  XI           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Cost-Benefit Analysis FHWA-HRT-04-142
  XII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Overview of Phase II and
Development of Phase III Experimental Plan
FHWA-HRT-04-143
  XIII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase III—Study 1: Comparison
of Near Infrared, Far Infrared, High Intensity Discharge, and Halogen Headlamps on Object Detection in Nighttime Clear Weather
FHWA-HRT-04-144
  XIV           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase III—Study 2: Comparison
of Near Infrared, Far Infrared, and Halogen Headlamps on Object Detection in Nighttime Rain
FHWA-HRT-04-145
  XV           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase III—Study 3: Influence of
Beam Characteristics on Discomfort and Disability Glare
FHWA-HRT-04-146
  XVI           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase III—Characterization of
Experimental Objects
FHWA-HRT-04-147
  XVII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phases II and III—
Characterization of Experimental Vision Enhancement Systems
FHWA-HRT-04-148
  XVIII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Overview of Phase III FHWA-HRT-04-149

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1—INTRODUCTION TO PHASE III

CHAPTER 2—PHASE III VISUAL PERFORMANCE STUDIES

CHAPTER 3—DISCOMFORT AND DISABILITY GLARE STUDY

CHAPTER 4—CONCLUSIONS

REFERENCES

LIST OF FIGURES

  1. Diagram. Detection distance diagram key.
  2. Diagram. IR–TIS mean detection distances.
  3. Diagram. NIR 1 mean detection distances.

LIST OF TABLES

  1. The 17 objects used in the clear study.
  2. Detection distances for pedestrians dressed in black compared to pedestrians dressed in blue.

LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

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