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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-04-138
Date: December 2005

Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume VII: Phase II—Study 5: Evaluation of Discomfort Glare During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather

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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 summarizes the results of a study evaluating discomfort glare from various headlamp systems during nighttime driving in clear weather. The study was conducted under Phase II of the Enhanced Night Visibility (ENV) project, a comprehensive evaluation of evolving and proposed headlamp technologies under 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 VII. 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–04–138

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient’s Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle
Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume VII:
Phase II—Study 5: Evaluation of Discomfort Glare During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather

5. Report Date
December 2005

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)
Richard J. Porter, Jonathan M. Hankey, Stephanie C. Binder, and 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
Phase II—Study 5 helped expand the knowledge of how current vision enhancement systems (VESs) affect the discomfort glare experienced by nighttime drivers. The empirical testing for this study was performed on the Smart Road. Sixty participants were involved in the study, which consisted of two data collection efforts. An 11 (VES) by 3 (Age) experimental design was used to investigate the effects of different types of VESs and driver’s age on discomfort glare. In addition, an evaluation of the Schmidt-Clausen and Bindels equation was performed to determine its predictive value in driving scenarios with oncoming glare.

The results of the empirical testing suggest that halogen headlamps selected for this testing produce more discomfort glare than the high intensity discharge headlamps tested. There was also some indication that ultraviolet (UV)–A may add slightly to discomfort glare. In addition, modifications of the Schmidt-Clausen and Bindels equation may provide headlamp designers with insight into how drivers will rate discomfort glare of proposed headlamps.

17. Key Words
Age, Discomfort Glare, Halogen, Headlamp, High Intensity Discharge (HID), Nighttime, 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
74

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 seventh 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 CHAPTER 2—METHODS CHAPTER 3—RESULTS CHAPTER 4—DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS REFERENCES


LIST OF FIGURES

  1. Equation. Schmidt-Clausen and Bindels equation.
  2. Photo. Headlamp setup on black SUV with hybrid UV–A and HID.
  3. Photo. Headlamp setup on white SUV with five UV–A and HLB.
  4. Photo. Smart Road.
  5. Diagram. Experimental onroad setup.
  6. Diagram. Location of luminance measurement points to determine adaptation level.
  7. Graph. Near discomfort rating versus VES for each age group.
  8. Equation. Variation of Schmidt-Clausen and Bindels equation based on maximum illumination experienced.
  9. Equation. Variation of Schmidt-Clausen and Bindels equation based on last illumination experienced.
  10. Photo. Aerial view of the Smart Road.

LIST OF TABLES

  1. VES configurations used in the experimental sessions.
  2. Experimental blocks.
  3. Headlamps mounted on each glare vehicle.
  4. Summary of far rating ANOVA.
  5. Summary of near rating ANOVA.
  6. Mean far discomfort ratings in descending order.
  7. Mean near discomfort ratings in descending order.
  8. Differences between near and far discomfort ratings.
  9. Predicted and actual deBoer near discomfort ratings.
  10. Predicted and actual deBoer far discomfort ratings.
  11. Linear regression results for predicted discomfort ratings.
  12. Vertical illuminance (lx): VES by distance from opposing headlamps (ft).
  13. Luminance measurements for calculation of adaptation luminance; lateral positions are 1 through 4, left to right.

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

 

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