Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume XIII Phase III - Study 1: Evaluation of Discomfort Glare During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather
McLaughlin, Shane B.
Hankey, Jonathan M.
Dingus, Thomas A.
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Phase III-- Study 1 was performed to further explore findings on far infrared (FIR) systems from Phase II, to investigate near infrared (NIR) and high intensity discharge (HID) technologies, and to investigate detection and recognition of retroreflective infrastructure components. The empirical testing for this study was performed at the Virginia Smart Road testing facility during clear weather conditions. A total of 18 participants were involved in the study. A 6 by 3 by 17 mixed-factorial design was used to investigate the effects of 6 different types of vision enhancement systems, 3 age groups, and 17 object presentations on detection and recognition distances; subjective evaluations were obtained for the different systems as well. The results of the empirical testing suggest that infrared (IR) systems, when designed correctly, can provide pedestrian detection benefit in clear weather, particularly for pedestrians in dark clothing and veiled in the glare of oncoming headlamps. A wider field of view display appears to facilitate detection in curves of 1,250-m radius. Retroreflective objects may be detected earlier in an NIR display, but require direct visual observation to recognize the object or read signage. HID systems did not provide detection benefit over the baseline halogen headlamps tested.