Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-01-0298

Evaluation of High-Intensity Discharge Automotive Forward Lighting 2001-01-0298

An experimental field investigation is described that compares off-axis (peripheral) visual performance between high-intensity discharge (HID) forward lighting and halogen systems. The goal of the investigation is to determine if the higher off-axis intensity levels combined with the spectral properties of HID lamps provide any benefits to visual performance over conventional tungsten halogen lamps.
In this study three current production European headlamp systems, one HID and two halogen, are compared. These systems are used to illuminate a fixed scene. Subjects perform a visual tracking task, cognitively similar to driving, while simultaneously small targets located at various angles in the periphery are activated. Subjects release a switch upon detection and reaction times and missed signals are measured.
From the results, comparisons are made among the HID and halogen systems in terms of reaction time to signals at different peripheral angles, and in terms of numbers of missed signals. The results are compared to a model that predicts visibility at nighttime (mesopic) light levels. Potential implications of the results on driving safety and on the development or refinement of forward lighting standards are discussed.


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