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Technical Paper

Benefits of Applying Adaptive Headlighting to the Current U.S. and European Low-Beam Patterns

This analytical study examined the potential benefits of applying two embodiments of adaptive lighting to the U.S. and European low-beam patterns: curve lighting that involves shifting the beam horizontally into the curve, and motorway lighting that involves shifting the beam vertically upward. The curve lighting simulations paired 240-m radius left and right curves with a horizontal shift of 10°, and 80-m radius curves with a horizontal beam shift of 15°. The motorway lighting simulations involved upward aim shifts of 0.25° and 0.5°. For both curve and motorway lighting, changes in both seeing and glare illuminance were considered. Market-weighted model year 2000 U.S. and European beam patterns were used. We conclude that curve lighting, as simulated here, would substantially improve seeing performance on curves for both types of beams. On right curves (but not on left curves) there would be an increase in disability glare for oncoming traffic.
Technical Paper

Driving with HID Headlamps: A Review of Research Findings

High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps have several advantages over tungsten-halogen headlamps, including greater light efficiency (lumens per watt) and longer life. However, from the safety point of view, the primary attraction of HID headlamps is that, because they produce more total light, they have the potential to provide more useful illumination to the driver. At the same time, there are concerns with the effects of HID illumination on perception of the colors of important objects and glare to oncoming traffic. This paper reviews research evidence that we have accumulated over the past 14 years concerning the potential benefits and drawbacks associated with the use of HID headlighting. We conclude that the evidence strongly supports the use of well-designed HID headlamps.
Technical Paper

Fog Lamps: Frequency of Installation and Nature of Use

The goal of this study was to provide information about the frequency of installation and use of fog lamps. Two surveys were performed. In the first one, installation of fog lamps was estimated by a survey of parked vehicles in two iarge shopping centers. The second survey studied the usage of fog lamps during daytime and nighttime, under clear, rainy, or foggy conditions. In this survey, an observer in a moving vehicle noted the types of lamps that were energized on the fronts of oncoming vehicles, and whether fog lamps were installed at all. The main findings are: (1) The best estimate of the current frequency of installation of fog lamps in southeast Michigan is about 13%. (2) During daytime, the usage of fog lamps increased with deterioration in atmospheric conditions, with the usage reaching 50% of all installed fog lamps during moderate-to-heavy fog.
Technical Paper

Motor Vehicle Forward Lighting

This paper surveys the literature on motor vehicle headlighting and its influence on the ability of drivers to avoid accidents. The review identifies the key relationships between headlamp design characteristics and driver and environmental factors. The major safety problems associated with headlighting are discussed, and issues needing the attention of the research community are identified.
Technical Paper

Motor Vehicle Rear lighting and Signaling

This paper addresses the relationship between vehicle rear lighting and signaling systems and probability of accident involvement. All classes of vehicles and all aspects of rear lighting and signaling systems as specified in current standards are considered in terms of the informational needs of following drivers. Relevant vehicle, driver, and environmental characteristics are identified, and their frequency of occurrence and relationship to accidents (or pertinent proxies) discussed whenever such information is available. The bulk of the report is devoted to reviewing, summarizing, and integrating the large body of data concerning vehicle rear lighting and signaling systems, including engineering analyses and other analytical studies, as well as experimental data from laboratory, simulation and field studies.
Technical Paper

Quantifying the Benefits of Variable Reflectance Rearview Mirrors

We collected photometric data, concerning the simultaneous levels of rearview mirror glare and luminance of the forward scene, in order to characterize the night driving environment for rearview mirrors. An instrumented vehicle was used to collect photometric data for each combination of three road types (urban, expressway, and rural) with two pavement conditions (dry and wet). We then used these data to quantify the benefits of variable-reflectance rearview mirrors relative to (1) fixed-reflectance mirrors, and (2) two-level prism mirrors. The performance of the various types of mirrors was quantified in terms of a figure of merit. The figure of merit is simply the percentage of the time that all of three mirror-performance measures are met: (1) discomfort glare, (2) forward visibility, and (3) rearward visibility.
Technical Paper

The Role of Binocular Information for Distance Perception in Rear-Vision Systems

New developments in the use of two-dimensional displays to supplement driver vision have made it more important to understand the roles that various distance cues play in driver perception of distance in more conventional ways of viewing the road, including direct vision and viewing through rearview mirrors. The current study was designed to investigate the role of binocular distance cues for perception of distance in rearview mirrors. In a field experiment, we obtained data to estimate the importance of binocular cues for distance judgments under conditions representative of real-world traffic. The results indicate that, although binocular cues are potentially available to drivers, these cues probably play little or no role in distance judgments in rearview mirrors in normal driving situations.
Technical Paper

The Roles of Camera-Based Rear Vision Systems and Object-Detection Systems: Inferences from Crash Data

Advances in electronic countermeasures for lane-change crashes, including both camera-based rear vision systems and object-detection systems, have provided more options for meeting driver needs than were previously available with rearview mirrors. To some extent, human factors principles can be used to determine what countermeasures would best meet driver needs. However, it is also important to examine sets of crash data as closely as possible for the information they may provide. We review previous analyses of crash data and attempt to reconcile the implications of these analyses with each other as well as with general human factors principles. We argue that the data seem to indicate that the contribution of blind zones to lane-change crashes is substantial.