Assisted Night Vision for Motorists in Highway Construction Zones: Phase II

Generally, construction zones require motorists to switch from using the familiar pavement markings for defining driving lanes to the unfamiliar and unforgiving concrete dividers (Jersey Barriers). Quite often, these “detour” lanes are narrower requiring motorists to exert additional caution to avoid collision with the dividers. During nighttime driving, it is frequently difficult to determine lane narrowing or shifts. If an active delineation light could be attached to the top of the jersey barriers, drivers could know, with fair warning, where and how the road changes. The research developed two types of barrier lighting devices using light illuminating diodes (LED) and Electroluminescent (EL) technology that employ solar power as the energy source. The lamps have been designed to withstand the harsh environment of the highway, have small footprints and lightweight, portable, and require no wires or outside power source. The light is bright enough to see at a distance without distracting the driver, and the unit is highly power efficient and designed to be practically maintenance free. The lamps can run for almost a week with 2-3 days of full charge. This is especially attractive for winter and cloud cover days. A drive test survey was carried out in October 2006 to evaluate motorists’ perception of the lighting system with the help of Dr. John Faucett, Professor of Psychology at the university. Approximately 100 students and their friends and relatives took part in the drive test. The survey indicated that 74% of respondents believed the LED lighting would be more effective for marking highway barriers and changes in the roadway than the passive reflectors, and 71% of respondents felt that the EL lighting would be more effective than reflectors. The respondents favored the LED lighting system for its brightness although the EL system is known to be more effective in foggy and misty environment. Such a weather condition was not present during drive test. The barrier lights are commercially viable and ready for technology transfer. It is believed that the deployment of the lamps on jersey barriers will vastly improve driver safety. Being portable, the lamps are also suitable for other highway applications including road construction site and sharp bend on highway exits.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: 57p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01056031
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MBTC-2064 (Grant)
  • Files: UTC, NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 28 2007 10:41AM