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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-04-134
Date: December 2005

Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume III: Phase II—Study 1: Visual Performance During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather

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Study 1 was conducted as a baseline for nighttime visual performance against which the other studies in Phase II of the Enhanced Night Visibility (ENV) project were compared. The project evaluated visual performance during nighttime driving under clear weather conditions in terms of detection and recognition distances when different vision enhancement systems (VES) were used.

The experimental tasks for Phase II—Study 1 consisted of driving during nighttime under clear conditions using 12 different VES configurations. To assess visual performance during nighttime driving, the distances at which the drivers were able to detect and recognize different objects were evaluated. Subjective performance ratings were also garnered from questionnaires administered to participants following the use of each VES.

The driving performance portion of the study took place at the Smart Road testing facility in Virginia for two consecutive nights per driver. The road was closed to all traffic except for experimental vehicles, and there were no more than two experimental vehicles on the road at one time. A 1-night training session was conducted for participants on the night before their participation in the onroad study. The following chapter details the characteristics of Study 1.


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