Determination of human visual capabilities in the identification of the color of highway signs under a combination of vehicle headlamp and high intensity discharge light sources Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9g54xm028

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  • A standardized color code is used to aid the driver in the prompt recognition of highway signs. At night, these signs are illuminated by various light sources including the headlights and other fixed light sources. These light sources may distort the appearance of the colors of the signs at night. The first objective of this study was to provide information about human capabilities with respect to the recognition of different colors under daytime and nighttime lighting. The second objective was to examine the effect of changing the specifications for highway colors from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) standards to the American National Standards (ANSI) safety color specifications. A laboratory experiment was conducted in which subjects named the perceived colors of retroreflective signs viewed under daytime and nighttime lighting. Forty subjects from four different age groups representing the driving population participated in the study. Three color samples (red, orange, and yellow) in three different grades (engineering grade, high intensity grade, and diamond grade), and two different color specifications (FHWA and ANSI) were used. Four different fixed light sources (clear mercury, coated mercury, coated metal halide, and high pressure sodium) were used for illuminating the signs. For the nighttime condition, two headlights were used (metal halide and tungsten halogen). Daytime lighting was simulated using a fluorescent D-65 light source. Response times as well as correct responses for naming the colors were collected for each subject. Significant differences were found for nighttime versus daytime viewing of the signing materials. In general, for nighttime viewing, red and orange colors were identified faster than yellow color samples. In most cases, FHWA colors were identified significantly more accurately and faster than the ANSI colors. The coated metal halide headlight performed better than the other fixed light sources. There was no significant difference found between the tungsten halogen and the metal halide headlights.
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