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Technical Paper

Impacts of Dynamic Rear Lighting on Driver Response

2014-04-01
2014-01-0434
Rear automotive lighting systems employing dynamic features such as sweeping or flashing are not commonly used on vehicles in North America, in part because they are not clearly addressed in vehicle lighting regulations. Nor is there abundant evidence suggesting they have a substantial role to play in driver safety. The results of a human factors investigation of the potential impacts of dynamic rear lighting systems on driver responses are summarized and discussed in the context of safety, visual effectiveness and the present regulatory context.
Technical Paper

Adaptive High Beam Systems: Visual Performance and Safety Effects

2014-04-01
2014-01-0431
Present standards for vehicle forward lighting specify two headlamp beam patterns: a low beam when driving in the presence of other nearby vehicles, and a high beam when there is not a concern for producing glare to other drivers. Adaptive lighting technologies such as curve lighting systems with steerable headlamps may be related to increments in safety according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but isolating the effects of lighting is difficult. Recent analyses suggest that visibility improvements from adaptive curve lighting systems might reduce nighttime crashes along curves by 2%-3%. More advanced systems such as adaptive high-beam systems that reduce high-beam headlamp intensity toward oncoming drivers are not presently allowed in the U.S. The purpose of the present study is to analyze visual performance benefits and quantify potential safety benefits from adaptive high-beam headlamp systems.
Technical Paper

Luminance versus Luminous Intensity as a Metric for Discomfort Glare

2011-04-12
2011-01-0111
Photometric performance specifications for vehicle headlamp specifications in North America are given in terms of luminous intensity values at various angular locations with the objective of providing sufficient illumination for forward visibility while controlling for glare toward oncoming and preceding vehicle drivers. Abundant evidence suggests that luminous intensity is an appropriate metric for characterizing the degree to which a headlamp can produce disability glare through veiling luminances under a wide range of viewing conditions. Notwithstanding that discomfort glare exhibits a differential spectral sensitivity from the photopic luminous efficiency function used to characterize light, luminous intensity does not always predict discomfort glare. For example, the luminance of the luminous element(s) can be more predictive of discomfort when headlamps are viewed from relative close distances.
Technical Paper

Visibility from Vehicle Headlamps and Roadway Lighting in Urban, Suburban and Rural Locations

2010-04-12
2010-01-0298
In real world driving conditions, illumination from vehicle headlamps and, when present, from fixed roadway lighting combines to provide visibility for the driver. We present analyses of visibility along a representative roadway intersection scenario with median and market-weighted headlamp beam patterns including halogen and high intensity discharge headlamp beam patterns, and high beam headlamp beam patterns. Also investigated are interactions with the spatial extent of roadway lighting, either as part of a continuous lighting system or as a single roadway luminaire at the intersection junction, and the role of ambient illuminance from urban environments. The results of the analyses show the large influence of ambient illuminance from urban areas on the visibility of relevant targets, and show differential advantages of different headlamp beam patterns for different target locations where pedestrians might be encountered.
Technical Paper

Real-World Measurement of Headlamp Illumination

2010-04-12
2010-01-0294
We summarize the development and initial deployment of a system that can be mounted along an intersection, curve, drive-in, or parking facility to efficiently gather relevant data about headlamp patterns that might relate to glare or visibility. The system can run autonomously to collect many vehicles per data collection period. The system includes a range finder to capture information when an approaching vehicle is at a specific location, a digital camera to store images of oncoming headlamp position (i.e., mounting height), two arrays of light sensors to measure the vertical headlamp illumination profile (e.g., angular position of headlamp beam cutoff or maximum luminous intensity), and a color-calibrated illuminance meter at the angular location of an oncoming driver's eyes. From the headlamp mounting height data and the vertical cutoff location data, an estimate of the headlamp aim distribution can be made.
Journal Article

Vehicle Lighting and Modern Roundabouts: Implications for Pedestrian Safety

2012-04-16
2012-01-0268
Modern roundabout facilities are increasing in number throughout North America and the world. Appropriate vehicle lighting, including the application of intelligent headlighting systems, might help support safe, efficient driving behavior while navigating through these new intersection types. We present the results of a field study conducted to compare different vehicle lighting systems in terms of drivers' ability to detect and identify pedestrian activity, under different amounts of illumination from fixed outdoor lighting systems. The results are compared to analytical predictions of visibility using a validated visual performance model.
Journal Article

Headlamp Levelness and Glare: Preliminary Analyses Based on Field Data

2013-04-08
2013-01-0749
Vehicle headlamps are essential for driver safety at night, and technological evolution of headlamps over several decades has brought substantial improvements to driver visibility and comfort. Nonetheless, glare remains an important concern among many in the driving public, perhaps even more so in North America, where requirements for headlamps differ from those in much of the rest of the world. In most of the world, headlamps producing higher luminous flux are required to have automatic leveling and cleaning systems, thought to help reduce glare. The arrival of headlamp systems in the worldwide marketplace with luminous flux values just below those triggering requirements for leveling and cleaning systems will bring new questions about the causes of and countermeasures for glare.
Technical Paper

Strategies for Optimizing Headlamp Illumination and Visibility Along Curves

2006-04-03
2006-01-0489
A field study to measure peripheral visual performance under various headlamp conditions typical of halogen and high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and including functions that could be incorporated in advanced forward-lighting systems (AFS), was conducted. The study simulated an approach of left- and right-hand turns. Targets of varying size were located at different locations along the edges of the curves, and different headlamp illumination conditions were used. Reaction times and missed targets were measured. The results were consistent with previously published studies showing a benefit of increased peripheral illumination commonly found in HID headlamps and with AFS systems on peripheral target detection.
Technical Paper

Rear Signal Lighting: From Research to Standards, Now and in the Future

2007-04-16
2007-01-1229
Rear signal lighting on vehicles has two primary functions: informing other drivers about the presence of a vehicle on the roadway, and alerting those other drivers to intentions of a vehicle's driver before actions such as turning or stopping occur. In the present paper, reports, articles and other technical literature, pertaining to rear lighting signal system photometric requirements and use of dynamic display features, are reviewed. The objective is to synthesize recommendations for configuring rear lighting in order to optimize systems for different ambient weather and lighting conditions, dirt accumulation, and warning functions. Research results from European, North American and Japanese contexts are discussed.
Technical Paper

Effect of Dynamic Lighting Conditions on Visual Detection

2009-04-20
2009-01-0544
The present design standards for low beam headlamps offer significant flexibility regarding the distribution of light that they generate. Some headlamp systems produce significant amounts of foreground illumination, which increases the apparent brightness of the roadway surface close to the vehicle, and this increased brightness is seen as desirable by many individuals. Some individuals may prefer not only high but uniform foreground illumination. At almost any driving speed, however, any objects located in the visual foreground are too close to avoid with slowing or steering maneuvers. Further, published literature on the mechanisms for disability glare suggests that foreground illumination should have a negative impact in terms of the visibility of objects located well ahead in the visual field.
Technical Paper

Influence of Foreground Illumination from Headlamps on Visibility and Preference

2009-04-20
2009-01-0336
The present design standards for low beam headlamps offer significant flexibility regarding the distribution of light that they generate. Some headlamp systems produce significant amounts of foreground illumination, which increases the apparent brightness of the roadway surface close to the vehicle, and this increased brightness is seen as desirable by many individuals. Some individuals may prefer not only high but uniform foreground illumination. At almost any driving speed, however, any objects located in the visual foreground are too close to avoid with slowing or steering maneuvers. Further, published literature on the mechanisms for disability glare suggests that foreground illumination should have a negative impact in terms of the visibility of objects located well ahead in the visual field.
Technical Paper

Methods for Assessing the Impact of Oncoming Glare on Driving Behavior

2005-04-11
2005-01-0442
Glare from oncoming vehicles while driving at night impairs visibility through the mechanism of scattered light in the eyes, which reduces the luminance contrast of objects in the field of view, and through the mechanism of increasing the visual adaptation level, which decreases visibility following glare exposure. Glare can also cause discomfort, which is most commonly assessed experimentally through the use of subjective rating scales. The present paper reports on an investigation of methods to assess glare's impact on driving behavior in a naturalistic setting. Vehicles belonging to drivers were instrumented with a photosensor to estimate the glare illuminance, as well as sensors for monitoring speed, acceleration, braking status, lane position and other attributes. Data from all of these instruments were collected and stored.
Technical Paper

Headlamp Illumination and Glare: An Approach to Predicting Peripheral Visibility

2004-03-08
2004-01-1094
Peripheral visibility is an important aspect of driving but one that is not understood as robustly as on-axis visibility. The present paper summarizes results from a series of field studies investigating the effect of headlamp illumination and of oncoming headlamp glare on the speed and accuracy of response to small targets located in the visual periphery. These experiments used headlamp sets providing differing amounts of illumination on targets of varying reflectance, located throughout the field of view. Reaction times to the onset of targets and the percentage of missed targets were measured. The characteristics and locations of the targets and experimental geometry were similar in each study as were the subject demographic characteristics, so that results were very consistent among each of the studies.
Technical Paper

Headlamp Parameters and Glare

2004-03-08
2004-01-1280
New headlamp sources and optical designs are creating new glare scenarios on today's roadways. Recent evidence suggests that the spectral content of vehicle forward lighting may play a role in the glare that it produces. Additionally, there is concern that the decreasing size of some headlamp systems may be contributing to glare. This paper describes a field experiment designed to take a fresh look at headlamp glare, both disability and discomfort, by exploring the role of illuminance, spectrum, and size and determining the relative magnitude of each as it affects oncoming glare. Subjects seated in a test vehicle were exposed to small targets at various angles. Test glare headlamps were positioned 50 m in front of the subject at an angle of 5°, simulating oncoming traffic. The glare intensity at the subject's eye, the spectrum of the glare source (among high intensity discharge, halogen, and blue filtered), and the glare source size were systematically varied.
Technical Paper

Effects of Sweeping, Color and Luminance Distribution on Response to Automotive Stop Lamps

2002-03-04
2002-01-0911
Immediate response to stop lamps when driving is crucial to roadway safety. Previous research has demonstrated that neon and light emitting diode (LED) stop lamps that have a dynamic sweeping luminance distribution can be just as or more effective than standard stop lamps. Sweeping neon and LED lamps with sweep-up times equal to or less than 100 ms resulted in reaction times equal to or shorter than those obtained with a conventional, non-sweeping incandescent stop lamp. At the same time, an LED stop lamp having the same far-field luminous intensity characteristics as the neon lamp, resulted in shorter reaction times than the neon lamp. The LED stop lamp differed from the neon lamp in two important ways. First, its color was different; the LED lamp had a dominant wavelength of about 630 nm, in comparison to the neon lamp with a dominant wavelength of about 615 nm.
Technical Paper

Headlight Glare Exposure and Recovery

2005-04-11
2005-01-1573
There is concern that the greater light output and increased beam pattern widths of some headlamp systems may be resulting in higher glare exposures to drivers for longer times. A set of experiments is described that examines how headlamp glare exposure affects recovery time and ratings of discomfort. Theoretical glare exposures were examined to study different aspects of glare, namely peak glare illuminance and total glare dosage. Glare exposures corresponding to representative tungsten halogen (TH) and high intensity discharge (HID) systems were also examined. It was found that the shape of the glare profile had a significant effect on recovery time. A larger dose of glare (product of illuminance and exposure time) results in a longer recovery time. It was also found that discomfort ratings are dependent on glare profile, with greater discomfort being proportional to larger peak illuminances. Surprisingly, no effect of glare duration or dosage was found on discomfort.
Technical Paper

Visual Benefits of Blue Coated Lamps for Automotive Forward Lighting

2003-03-03
2003-01-0930
A research project has been completed to determine if commercially available blue coated lamps provide visual benefit for nighttime driving over standard tungsten halogen lamps. As an esthetic option, tungsten halogen lamps with an absorptive coating have been developed to mimic the appearance of HID lamps. The transmission of these coated lamp results in a continuous output spectrum, like standard tungsten halogen, but with a lower “yellow” content, giving an appearance similar to HID lamps. Aside from esthetic reasons for using blue coated lamps, there is also evidence that the spectral output may provide visual benefits over standard tungsten halogen lamps in nighttime driving. While driving at night, off-axis or peripheral vision is in the mesopic response range and the eye's sensitivity shifts towards shorter wavelengths or “blue” light.
Technical Paper

Discomfort Glare from Headlamps: Interactions Among Spectrum, Control of Gaze and Background Light Level

2003-03-03
2003-01-0296
Discomfort glare while driving at night might have implications for long-term fatigue and ultimately, driving performance and safety. The intensity of oncoming headlights, their spectral power distribution, the location of the lights in the field of view, and the ambient illumination conditions can all impact feelings of discomfort while driving at night. Not surprisingly, light sources with higher intensities are perceived as more glaring. Similarly, perceptions of discomfort increase as the ambient lighting conditions are reduced, and as the glare sources are located closer to the line of sight. Recent research also appears to demonstrate the role of short-wavelength light in contributing to the discomfort glare response. The present paper outlines a laboratory study to probe the effects of ambient light level, spectral power distribution, and control of gaze on discomfort glare, and potential interactions among these factors.
Technical Paper

Spectral Effects of High-Intensity Discharge Automotive Forward Lighting on Visual Performance

2003-03-03
2003-01-0559
Recent studies have shown that high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps provide visual benefits to the vehicle operator that may lead to increased nighttime driving safety. An experimental field investigation is described that further investigates the visual performance aspects of HID forward lighting systems to isolate and examine the role of lamp spectral distribution under realistic nighttime driving conditions. This study examines lamp spectral distribution by direct comparison of HID source spectra to one that simulates a conventional halogen source. Two additional lamp spectra are also included in this study, a “cool” distribution with a high percentage of short wavelength visible light and a “warm” distribution with a high percentage of long wavelength visible light. Subjects perform a visual tracking task, cognitively similar to driving, while seated in the driver's seat of a test vehicle.
Technical Paper

Visual Benefits of High-Intensity Discharge Automotive Forward Lighting

2002-03-04
2002-01-0259
Recent studies have shown that high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps provide visual benefits to the vehicle operator that may lead to greater nighttime driving safety.[1] This paper is an extension of that work to further examine the role of beam pattern. An experimental field investigation is described that explores the visual performance aspects of HID forward lighting systems meeting North American beam pattern standards. This study further explores and quantifies the overall benefits of HID systems by direct comparison to conventional halogen systems. It examines and compares two systems producing typical Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1383 beam patterns. Subjects perform a visual tracking task, cognitively similar to driving, while seated in the driver's seat of a test vehicle. Simultaneously, small targets located at various angles in the periphery are activated, with subjects releasing a switch upon detection so that reaction times can be measured.
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