Infrared Night Vision Systems and Driver Needs 2003-01-0293
Night vision enhancement systems (NVES), which use infrared (IR) cameras, are designed to supplement the visibility provided by standard headlamps. There are two main NVES systems: active, near infrared (NIR) systems, which require an IR source but give a complete picture of the scene in front of the driver, and passive, far infrared (FIR) systems, which do not need an IR source but only enhance relatively warm objects (such as people and animals). There are three main display alternatives: a head-up display (HUD) superimposed on the direct view of the road, a HUD just above the dashboard but separated from the direct view, and a conventional display somewhere in the dashboard.
This paper analyzes what a NVES should do to improve night visibility based on night crash statistics, driver vision and visibility conditions in night driving, driver tasks and behavior, and the options offered by various technological approaches. Potential problems with using NVES are also discussed. The six main questions that need to be answered concerning NVES are: What kind of information should be presented? To whom should the information be presented? Which technological approach should be used? When should the information be presented? How should the information be presented? Where should the information be presented?