Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume III: Phase II - Study 1: Visual Performance During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather
Hankey, Jonathan M.
Dingus, Thomas A.
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Phase II-- Study 1 was performed as a stepping stone to expand the knowledge of how different vision enhancement systems can affect detection and recognition of different types of objects. The empirical testing for this study was performed on the Smart Road testing facility during clear weather conditions. A total of 30 participants were involved in the study. A 12 by 9 by 3 mixed-factorial design was used to investigate the effects of different types of vision enhancement systems, types of objects on the roadway, and driver's age on detection and recognition distances; subjective evaluations were obtained for the different systems as well. The results of the empirical testing suggest that no vision enhancement system consistently performs best in clear weather conditions. However, the halogen headlamp tested (low-beam configuration) consistently provided one of the longest detection and recognition distances, and even when other systems provided farther detection distances, these distances were generally not significantly different from halogen low beam. The only exception was the infrared thermal imaging system tested, which resulted in significantly farther detection distances for pedestrians and cyclists wearing dark-colored (low-contrast) clothing.