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REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-15-047     Date:  August 2015
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-15-047
Date: August 2015

 

Evaluation of The Impact of Spectral Power Distribution on Driver Performance

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FOREWORD

The Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Safety Research and Development focuses on conducting research that promotes a safe driving environment while offering practical considerations to address the needs of practitioners. Roadway lighting offers significant safety benefits but also represents a substantial share of the operating budgets of agencies tasked with maintaining the lighting infrastructure. Therefore, there is a need to optimize the safety implications and budgetary considerations.

This report provides the details and results of a comprehensive investigation of the impact of light-source spectrum on driver visual performance. In a series of human factors experiments, the effect of overhead lighting and headlamp spectral p ower distribution was evaluated with respect to driver detection and recognition of large and small objects. The report also discusses the spectral interaction of headlamp and roadway lighting on the detection of pedestrians, including an evaluation of enhanced pedestrian detection through a momentary peripheral illumination mechanism of the vehicle headlamps.

Monique R. Evans 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. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

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-15-047

2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Evaluation of the Impact of Spectral Power Distribution on Driver Performance

5. Report Date

August 2014

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Ronald B. Gibbons, Jason Meyer, Travis Terry, Rajaram Bhagavathula, Alan Lewis, Michael Flanagan, Caroline Connell

8. Performing Organization Report No.

 

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute 3500 Transportation Research Plaza (0536) Blacksburg, VA 24061

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

DTFH61-10-C-00032

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

09/24/2010–01/31/2015

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes

The Contracting Officer’s Representatives were Clayton Chen and Abdul Zineddin, Office of Safety Research and Development.

16. Abstract

This project is a complete investigation of the impact of light-source spectrum on driver visual performance. In a series of human factors experiments, the effect of overhead lighting and headlamp spectral power distribution was evaluated with respect to driver detection and recognition of large and small objects and pedestrians. The potential for applying mesopic multiplying factors to roadway lighting was also evaluated, as was a momentary peripheral illuminator system’s effects on driver visual performance and eye-glance behavior. The results indicate that, although the momentary peripheral illuminator improved one measure of pedestrian detection, it was also a distraction to drivers. The results also indicate that at higher speeds, neither light-source spectrum nor mesopic multiplying factors apply, but mesopic multiplying factors are applicable to lighting design for lower-speed roadways and other nondriving environments.

17. Key Words

Light sources, Spectral effects roadway lighting, Roadway safety, Lighting levels, Lighting and safety

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available through the National Technical Information Service; Springfield, VA 22161. http://www.ntis.gov/about/contact.aspx

19. Security Classification
(of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classification
(of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

236

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

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

Acronyms and Abbreviations

ANCOVAAnalysis of Covariance  
ANOVAAnalysis of Variance  
BATBrightness Acuity Tester  
BSMBinocular Simultaneity Method  
CCTCorrelated Color Temperature  
CIECommission Internationale d’Eclairage  
GPSGlobal Positioning System  
HIDHigh-Intensity Discharge  
HPSHigh-Pressure Sodium  
HSDHonest Significant Difference  
IESIlluminating Engineering Society  
KKelvin  
LEDLight-Emitting Diode  
MHMetal Halide  
MOAMinutes of Arc  
MOVEMesopic Optimization of Visual Efficiency  
MPIMomentary Peripheral Illumination  
ODOptical Density  
RLMMSRoadway Lighting Mobile Measurement System  
S/PScotopic Output/Photopic Output  
SAESociety for Automotive Engineering  
SNKStudent-Newman-Keuls  
SPDSpectral Power Distribution  
TOFTime of Flight  
UFOVUseful Field of View  
VIVertical Illuminance  
VLVisibility Level  
VTTIVirginia Tech Transportation Institute  

 

 

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