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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-04-145
Date: December 2005

Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume XIV: Phase III—Study 2: Comparison of Near Infrared, Far Infrared, and Halogen Headlamps on Object Detection in Nighttime Rain

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APPENDIX E—ONROAD EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOL

GENERAL POLICIES

  • The primary goal of this research effort is safety. For that reason, you need to be safe at all times.
  • Drive in a safe manner at all times. This means observing the 25 mile-per-hour speed limit on the road. (When towing light rack no more than the 2 headlamps and 15 mph.)
  • Use a spotter when moving vehicles in and out of the garage.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes at all times.
  • Wear dark clothes and dark shoes with non-reflective materials.
  • Always wear your vest on the road while doing prep and shut down.
  • Do not travel with the tailgate open.
  • Wear your safety glasses whenever you are exposed to headlights.
  • Always drive with your lights on.
  • If it’s broken, tell someone.
  • Attend the nightly meeting.
  • Minimize communications on Channel 1.
  • Acknowledge all messages you receive.

Over the course of the study, it is likely that apparatus will break. If you notice something is broken or you are the one who broke it, tell someone immediately as it is crucial to the study, or as soon as it’s convenient if it is not crucial. At any rate, you must report such damage before you leave from your shift.

While the study is being conducted, radio communications on Channel 1 need to be minimized (emergencies excluded). If none of the onroad experimenters can answer the question, one of you will need to address it to the in-vehicle experimenter. Note that the in-vehicle experimenter cannot always respond to questions if he/she is interacting with the participant at that time. For this reason, you will need to give the in-vehicle experimenter extra time.

  1. Pre Experiment
    • Nightly meeting.
    • Prep vehicles.
    • Each experimenter is responsible for signing out radio and should have one radio and one extra battery.
    • Each onroad experimenter is responsible for making sure that they have everything that they need for the lighting station. They are also expected to load the light boxes and any other equipment into the white pickup.
    • Put on vests.
    • Load boxes and cones into truck and hook up lighting trailer.
    • The 3 on road experimenters should travel to the road in the pickup truck. The lead experimenter will drive the truck pulling the trailer.
    • Setup parking spaces in Turnaround 2 by putting out the cones at the appropriate locations. (See Diagram)
    • Setup cones at Turnaround 3. (See Diagram)
    • Setup cones (2 each) at both start points. (See Diagram)
    • Make sure all cones and/or objects on the road that are not part of the study are removed from the road.
    • Trailer hitch arm must be removed before lighting rack is put in roadway.
    • Unload boxes at the station.
    • Each night you will be assigned one of the following responsibilities:
      • Light Rack Operator, Lead Experimenter
      • Light Rack Operator
      • White Pedestrian
    • Each experimenter must ensure that they are dressed appropriately for the participant training and experimental sessions.
    • Each experimenter is responsible for making sure that they have a complete set of equipment, including the following:
      • Storage container with white scrubs (pedestrian only), flashlight, safety glasses, order sheets, bug spray etc.
      • 2 Extension cords
      • 1 Radio and one extra battery with one handset.
      • Once you have the equipment at your station double check to make sure you have all of the necessary items. Radios are to be worn at all times. (Two lighting operators can use one radio to eliminate interference.)

  2. Discomfort Glare Practice Lap (1 Lap)
    • The truck will be used instead of the glare cart for this lap.
    • Make sure all light boxes, extension cords, etc. are hidden from participant view.
    • Position the truck and radio to the in-vehicle experimenter when ready.
    • When in-vehicle experimenter confirms participant is ready, turn on the appropriate headlights (low or high beam) as per the order sheet.
    • After the participant vehicle has passed and cleared the test section of road, repeat for the second half of the participant lap.

  3. First Half of Discomfort Glare Data Collection (2 ½ laps-one pass for each of the 5 VESs)
    • Make sure all light boxes, extension cords, etc. are hidden from participant view when they are not being used.
    • Position the glare cart on the road using the marks on the pavement as a guide which ensures that the glare is properly aimed.
    • Setup the appropriate VES on the cart, referring to the order sheet.
    • Place felt in front of the VES and turn them on.
    • Wait 30 seconds for the VES to stabilize, then radio the in-vehicle experimenter to let him/.her know you are ready.
    • Remove the felt when the in-vehicle experimenter radios that the participant vehicle is ready for approach.
    • Hide off of the road while participant vehicle is approaching.
    • Repeat for all VES on the order sheet.

  4. Disability Glare Practice Lap (1 Lap)
    • The truck will be used instead of the glare cart for this lap.
    • Make sure all light boxes, extension cords, etc. are hidden from participant view.
    • Light operators -position the truck.
    • Pedestrian-stand in appropriate location as described in table below. Refer to order sheet. Radio in-vehicle experimenter when ready.

      Object Location Instructions
      Left Pedestrian Left Pedestrian Center line on roadway Stand dressed in white clothing facing driver (parallel to line) 1 ft inside center line. Important that feet do not cross or cover any portion of the line.
      Right Pedestrian Right edge line on roadway Stand dressed in white clothing facing driver (parallel to line) 1 ft inside right edge line. Important that feet do not cross or cover any portion of the line.

    • Light operators-when in-vehicle experimenter radios that participant is ready, turn on the appropriate headlights (low or high beam) as per the order sheet.
    • Pedestrian- clear off the roadway when the in-vehicle experimenter radios “clear” or when the vehicle reaches the 50 feet mark.-whichever comes first.
    • Pedestrian- after you step off the roadway, maintain your position on the shoulder to allow the in-vehicle experimenter to flag the data with the object location.
    • Pedestrian-as the participant vehicle passes you, say the run number over the radio to ensure that everyone keeps track of the order.
    • After the participant vehicle has passed and cleared the test section of road, repeat for the second half of the practice lap.


  5. Light Operators -First Half of Disability Glare Data Collection- (5 ½ laps-one pass for each VES and object combination and one pass for a blank condition).
    • Make sure all light boxes, extension cords, etc. are hidden from participant view when they are not being used.
    • Position the glare cart on the road using the tape marks on the pavement as a guide. This ensures that the glare cart is properly aimed.
    • Setup the appropriate VES on the cart, referring to the order sheet.
    • Place felt in front of the VES and turn them on.
    • Wait 30 seconds for the VES to stabilize, then radio the in-vehicle experimenter to let him/her know you are ready.
    • Remove the felt when the in-vehicle experimenter radios that the participant vehicle is ready for approach.
    • Hide off of the road while participant vehicle is approaching.
    • Repeat for all VES as per the order sheet.
    • Note that there will be a “blank” on the order sheet. For this condition, you will use the truck instead of the glare cart, following the steps from the practice lap.
    • If you notice any problem or mistakes, document them on the vehicle prep sheet.


  6. Pedestrian-First Half of Disability Glare Data Collection- (5 ½ laps-one pass for each VES and object combination and one pass for a blank condition).
    • Follow the protocol as described in the practice lap.
    • There will be a “blank” on the order sheet. For this condition, you will hide off of the road.
    • Note that the participant vehicle is not to come within 50 feet of a pedestrian on the roadway. It is primarily your responsibility to make sure you move off the road at that distance.
    • If you notice any problems or mistakes, document them on the vehicle prep sheet.


  7. Second half of Discomfort Glare Data Collection- (2 ½ laps- one pass for each VES)
    • Refer to protocol above.

  8. Second half of Disability Glare Data Collection- (5 ½ laps-one pass for each VES and object combination and one pass for a blank condition).
    • Refer to protocol above.

  9. Shut Down Protocol
    • Collect cones
    • Return glare cart, headlamps and equipment to the garage.
    • Make sure all the doors are locked and the garage door is closed.
    • Return the keys to the lock box.
    • Return the radios (personal and in-vehicle)-make sure they are turned off when you put them in the charger.
    • Put away scrubs.
    • Submit paperwork to the in-vehicle experimenter.

Vehicle Preparation

Sedan

  • At least ½ tank of gas.
  • Clean the windshield inside and outside.
  • Wipe off the headlamps.
  • Check that all headlights work.
  • Make sure the car radio is off.
  • Set dashboard lights to the lowest setting.
  • Make sure the vehicle has a working regular flashlight and red flashlight.
  • Place all equipment unrelated to Disability Glare study into the trunk/back of the vehicle.
  • Close the sunroof.
  • Make sure pens are in the passenger side door, fire extinguishers and flashlights are in the vehicles.
  • Make sure there is a valet box in the back seat (level, pen, dry erase, tape measurer).
  • Check and adjust tire pressure.
  • Cover all mirrors with black stuff sacks.

Light Rack/Trailer

  • Check and adjust tire pressure on trailer.
  • Check light boxes for loose connections or misalignment.
  • Clean all 10 light boxes.
  • Check trailer hitch arm connection.
  • Check light rack power supply to make sure it is functioning.
  • Cover front license plate of truck with felt.

 

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