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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-04-139
Date: December 2005

Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume VIII: Phase II—Study 6: Detection of Pavement Markings 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 on the detection of pavement markings using 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 VIII. 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-04-139

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle
Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume VIII:
Phase II—Study 6: Detection of Pavement Markings During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather

5. Report Date
December 2005

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)
Christopher J. Edwards, Stephanie Binder, Thomas A. Dingus, Ronald B. Gibbons, Jonathan M. Hankey

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 6 was part of the Enhanced Night Visibility project, a larger research effort investigating drivers' visual performance during nighttime driving. Study 6 evaluated the possibility of improving the detection distances of pavement markings through the use of fluorescent materials, combined with augmentation of vehicle headlamps with UV–A sources. Three different pavement marking materials and 11 headlamp configurations,—vision enhancement systems (VESs)—were evaluated. The VESs studied included halogen low beam (HLB), high intensity discharge (HID), halogen high beam (HHB), and high output halogen (HOH) sources. Both the HLB and HID configurations were used in the systems augmented with UV–A sources. The pavement marking materials included fluorescent paint, fluorescent thermoplastic, and a two-component liquid system.

Thirty participants from three age groups (young, middle-aged, and older) participated in the study. The results indicated that all of the VESs provided adequate minimal visibility distances for all of the pavement markings at the 40-km/h (25-mi/h) speed driven and that the supplemental UV–A did not improve the detection distances obtained with either the HID or the HLB headlamps. The liquid system and thermoplastic pavement markings outperformed the fluorescent paint. The report discusses the results and implications for both headlamp type and the pavement marking materials.

17. Key Words
Age, Fluorescent Paint, Halogen, Headlamps, High Intensity Discharge, Liquid System, Nighttime, Pavement Marking, Thermoplastic, Ultraviolet, Visibility, Vision Enhancement System

18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public 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
85

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 eighth 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. Contrast ratio.
  2. Photo. Application of the liquid system pavement marking.
  3. Photo. Application of the fluorescent thermoplastic pavement marking system.
  4. Photo. Application of the fluorescent pavement markings using the long-line truck.
  5. Photo. SUV 1 with hybrid UV–A + HID.
  6. Photo. SUV 2 with three or five UV–A and HLB or HID.
  7. Photo. Pickup with HOH and HHB.
  8. Photo. Sedan with HLB–LP.
  9. Photo. Smart Road.
  10. Diagram. Pavement marking material setup.
  11. Bar graph. SNK post hoc results on beginning detection distance for the main effect: VES.
  12. Bar graph. SNK post hoc results on beginning detection distance for the main effect: pavement marking.
  13. Bar graph. Results on beginning detection distance for the interaction: VES by Pavement Marking.
  14. Bar graph. SNK post hoc results for beginning detection distance for the main effect: age.
  15. Bar graph. SNK post hoc results on ending detection distance for the main effect: VES.
  16. Bar graph. SNK post hoc results on ending detection distance for the main effect: pavement marking.
  17. Bar graph. Results on ending detection distance for the VES by Pavement Marking interaction.
  18. Bar graph. SNK post hoc results on ending detection distance for the main effect of age.
  19. Photo. Aerial view of the Smart Road.

 

LIST OF TABLES

  1. Experimental variables: 11 (VES) by 3 (Pavement Marking) by 3 (Age) mixed-factor design.
  2. VES configurations.
  3. VES configuration groups.
  4. Model for the experimental design.
  5. ANOVA table for the beginning detection distance for VES configuration and pavement marking.
  6. ANOVA table for the ending detection distance for VES configuration and pavement marking.
  7. Beginning detection distance means for VES baselines and supplemental UV–A.
  8. Ending detection distance means for VES baselines and supplemental UV–A.
  9. Vehicle, average participant eye height, and headlamp configurations.
  10. Group A VES counterbalancing.
  11. Group B VES counterbalancing.
  12. Mean beginning and ending detection distances and SNK groupings (means with the same letter are not significantly different) of pavement markings for the VES main effect.

 

LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

 

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