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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-04-135
Date: December 2005

Enhanced Night Visibility, Volume IV: Phase II—Study 2: Visual Performance During Nighttime Driving in Rain

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APPENDIX K—VALET PROTOCOL


VALET PROTOCOL FOR ENV-OBJECTS—RAIN

  1. Pick up all necessary items from the building.
    • Valet box: tape measure, leveler, safety glasses, dry erase marker, eraser, and a pen or pencil.
    • Flashlight.
    • Umbrella.
    • Radio.
    • Vest.
    • Stepping stool.
    • VES order sheet for the evening.
    • Object order for the onroad experimenters.

  2. Take care of all the experimental materials.
    • Get radios for onroad and in-vehicle.
    • Prepare radios for onroad with plastic bag and microphone/receiver.
    • Check that all the materials needed are in the boxes (rain order sheets included).
    • Make sure that the tarps are secure on the back seat of the SUVs.

  3. Make sure that defrost is on in all the vehicles and that the fan is set to the second speed (one above low).

  4. Park the first vehicles that drivers will use at the front of the building.
    • If it is the first night the drivers are here, it will always be the two SUVs.
    • If it is the second night, then use the order sheet to determine the first vehicle they will drive that night.
    • Drive remaining vehicles to the road.

  5. Assist onroad experimenters with road setup.
    • See vehicle prep sheet.

  6. Drop off all onroad staff at their stations.

  7. Park vehicles at the bottom turnaround.

  8. Make sure that radios are on.
    • One valet will be on channel 2.
    • One valet will be on channel 3.

  9. Place the stepstools on the side of the road.

  10. Wait for drivers to arrive at the bottom turnaround.

 

Basic Duties of a Valet

  1. Show them to their next vehicle as per the experimenter sheet.
    • Ask the participant to turn off the vehicle and to hand you the keys.
    • Turn off lights.
    • Turn off the windshield wipers if they leave them on.
    • Put the keys to each car in the door lock when it is not being used.
    • Assist driver in getting out of the vehicle if necessary.
    • Use the stepstools if necessary.
    • Meet the driver with an open umbrella if it is raining.
    • Wait until the other car has the lights off.
    • Lead/guide participant from one vehicle to the next by shining the flashlight on the road in front of them. Walk them in a direction that they will not face the other car lights.
    • Open the door for the participant and move the seat back before they get in.

  2. Orient person to next vehicle and turn on the lights.
    • If they have been in the vehicle before, ask them if they remember the controls (specifically, where the wiper controls are as well as where to turn off the parking lights). Be sure to offer to answer questions.
    • See each vehicle’s orientation instructions below.
    • Be sure to turn on the lights yourselves. Do not let the participant do it. If they reach for the light switch, tell them, “That’s OK, I’ll take care of this for you.”
    • Explain to the participant where the dimmer switch is.
    • Remind the participant to keep their seatbelt on at all times.
    • Ask them if they have any questions.

  3. Complete the measurements (night 2 only).
    • To do this, first explain to the participant that you are going to make a mark on the window as to where their eye level is located. Instruct them to adjust their seat to where they think they will be comfortable. Once they are situated, tell them to look ahead, relax, and stay as still as possible. Close the door and take the measurements.
    • Use the level (located in valet box) to assess participant’s eye position. Once you have found their eye position mark a “+” on the glass (using a dry-erase marker).
    • Using the “+” as a reference point, take measurements (horizontal and vertical).
    • Take vertical measurement with metal end of tape measure down where the glass intersects with the black plastic.
    • Take horizontal measurement with metal end of tape measure to the right where glass intersects with black plastic.

  4. Before driver goes down the road, ensure the headlamps are on and working. USE SAFETY GLASSES.
    • Sedan: Regular headlamps only.
    • Black SUV: If UV is required, make sure they are working. Otherwise, make sure the two standard ones are on (HLB or HID).
    • White SUV: The top three UV lights should be on for medium conditions, while all five should be on for high conditions. Report if one is not working or extremely dull. The standard lights (HLB and HID) should be working at all times.
    • Pickup: The two external headlamps on the front of the vehicle should be on. (Upper bulbs should be lit for HOH. Lower bulbs should be lit for HHB.)

  5. Take a 15-minute break between sessions (if running a double).
    • Pick up onroad crew and return to the building for a break.
    • Change the radio batteries prior to returning to the road.

  6. Repeat the above protocol if running a double or triple shift.

  7. Protocol for running rain (see diagram).

    Both valets will wait at the bottom of the hill for the participants to arrive. The first vehicle will park next to cone H. The second vehicle will park next to cone F. Cone G will only be used when the second vehicle arrives at the bottom after the second lap. Under these circumstances, cone G will be used in order to keep the first participant from being blinded. If it is night 1 (practice lap), valet A will get in the back seat of the vehicle that the first participant is in and ride up to the top of the hill with them (turn off your radio). Valet B will remain at the bottom of the hill. At the top of the hill, valet A will direct the first participant to the stopping point, next to cone A (facing the top of the hill in the left lane, cone A should also be a reflector cone) and have the driver put the car in park. As the second vehicle approaches the top turnaround, valet A will direct them to pull up in the right lane (the cars will now be staggered and in opposite lanes). This second car will then back up between cones B and C (these cones should be reflector cones). To aid the driver, the window should be rolled down so the valet can walk and talk to the driver. They should back in up to cone D. The second car up the hill now becomes the first down the hill. Valet A will then back the first participant into the gravel lot. Valet A will get into the vehicle with the first participant to head back downhill. The traveling valet will ride up on run 1 and down on run 4.

    Diagram. Protocol for running rain. Click here for more detail.

    Once the second car gets back to the turnaround at the bottom of the hill, valet B will escort their participant to the vehicle needed for VES 1. This vehicle should be parked just behind the edge of the guardrail at the bottom turnaround if possible. (The people in the first car down will walk forward to get to their new car.) Once the lights are checked and normal valet protocol is followed, valet B will get into the back seat of this vehicle (now becoming the traveling valet, and turning off their radio), which will then wait for the second vehicle to get to the bottom turnaround before proceeding uphill. Once at the bottom of the hill in the second vehicle, valet A will then escort their participant to the vehicle needed for VES 1 and check the lights along with the usual protocol. Valet A will then wait at the bottom of the hill.

    If this was night 2 (no practice lap), the only difference would be that valet A would have waited at the top of the hill until riding down the hill with the second vehicle on the second lap. Essentially, this would involve turning the cars around twice per VES (the traveling valet will be dropped off at the top of the hill after run 1 and will ride back down during run 4). This would be repeated for the remainder of the night with valets alternating between each VES. That is, the valet that travels for VES 1 will not travel for VES 2, then will travel again for VES 3 and VES 5.

    Also, one [contractor facility] setup vehicle will be positioned on the portion of the road where the tarps are. This is for the end of the night. When the cars go up for the final lap of VES 6/12, the setup vehicle should be positioned as if it were the next experimental vehicle (at the edge of the guardrail). This is so both in-vehicle experimenters and both participants can get into the setup vehicle and leave the road. This allows onroad personnel use of all experimental vehicles (SUVs, truck, sedan) when breaking down the road.

  8. Shutdown procedures:
    • Assist onroad with gathering all items from the road.
    • Place wet scrubs on the drying racks.
    • Sign all the radios back in.
    • Make sure that all radios and batteries are accounted for.
    • Make sure the power is off when you put the radios into the charger.
    • Submit paperwork to in-vehicle experimenter.

VEHICLE ORIENTATION SHEET

Sedan

  • You need to have them start the vehicle before orienting them because the seat and wheel move when you start it. Be sure to warn the participants of that before you start the car.
  • Button on left side of seat moves seat up and down, back and forth (show button).
  • Button for the steering wheel moves the wheel up and down, in and out.
  • There are many lights. The only ones they need to worry about are the speedometers- analog and digital (point each out). The subject is free to use whichever they feel most comfortable with.
  • Turn on the headlamps all the way (two clicks). Make sure they are on before you leave the vehicle.
  • Show the participant how to adjust the interior lights. If necessary, help them to adjust it by asking them to tell you when it is comfortable.

Black SUV

  • Button on left side of seat moves seat up and down, back and forth (show button).
  • Lever on steering column moves the wheel up and down.
  • Hand the participant the keys and have them start the car.
  • Turn on the parking lights (one click only).
  • Show the participant how to adjust the interior lights. If necessary, help them to adjust it by asking them to tell you when it is comfortable.
  • Show the participant how to turn on and adjust the windshield wipers.

White SUV

  • Button on left side of seat moves seat up and down, back and forth (show button).
  • Lever on steering column moves the wheel up and down.
  • Hand the participant the keys and have them start the car.
  • Turn on the parking lights (one click only).
  • Show the participant how to adjust the interior lights. If necessary, help them to adjust it by asking them to tell you when it is comfortable.
  • Show the participant how to turn on and adjust the windshield wipers.

Pickup

  • Lever in front of seat moves seat back and forth, (show lever).
  • Hand the participant the keys and have them start the car.
  • Turn on the parking lights (one click only).
  • Show the participant how to adjust the interior lights. If necessary, help them to adjust it by asking them to tell you when it is as bright as they would normally have it.
  • Show the participant how to turn on and adjust the windshield wipers.

 

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