Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-01-0321

Non-planar Rearview Mirrors: The Influence of Experience and Driver Age on Gap Acceptance and Vehicle Detection 2001-01-0321

Non-planar driver's side rear-view mirrors provide a wider field-of-view than planar mirrors, but produce a minified image. A field experiment was conducted to measure the performance of drivers when making lane change decisions based on mirror information. Four mirror types were included: a planar mirror, a spherical convex mirror and two aspherical mirrors (radius of curvature 1400 and 2000 mm, respectively). Non-planar mirrors improved drivers' detection of adjacent vehicles due to wider fields of view. Drivers' experience with non-planar mirrors did not generally compensate for the negative effect of accepting smaller gaps, with the exception of drivers who were accustomed to spherical convex mirrors. No increase in the visual workload was required to process information in non-planar mirrors. The conclusion was that the relative benefits of non-planar mirrors should be greater than the negative effects.


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