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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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CHAPTER 1—INTRODUCTION

Study 2 in Phase II of the Enhanced Night Visibility (ENV) project was the first in a series of three studies conducted at the Virginia Smart Road testing facility that focused on drivers’ visual performance during adverse weather conditions (i.e., rain, snow, and fog). The experimental tasks for this study consisted of driving at nighttime in rainy conditions using 12 different vision enhancement system (VES) configurations (the same set used for Phase II, Study 1; see ENV Volume III). Drivers’ visual performance was evaluated in terms of detection and recognition distances for different objects while using the different VESs. Subjective performance ratings were garnered from questionnaires administered to participants following the use of each VES.

The driving portion of the study took place at the Smart Road testing facility. The road was closed to all traffic except for experimental vehicles, of which there were no more than two on the road at any time. Participants underwent a one-night training session on the night before their two nights of participation in the onroad study. The following chapter describes the methodology for Study 2.

 

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