The effects of alternative motor vehicle rear lighting on headway change detection and relative trajectory discrimination by following drivers (1990)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
A series of laboratory experiments were carried out to examine the effect of alternative rear light configurations on the ability of subjects to (1) detect relative motion of the vehicle carrying the lights and (2) make judgements about the trajectory of that vehicle relative to themselves. The experiments were designed to simulate the optic information presented to a driver following another car in darkness. The principle hypothesis was that light configurations which presented a substantial vertical component in addition to the usual horizontal one would enable subjects to be more sensitive in both tasks than would be the case for the traditional pair of lights. No support was found for this hypothesis, although the size of the vertical visual angle was found to affect detection of motion, though differently at different distances, when various triangular arrays were compared to each other. There was no consistent difference between a row of three lights and a triangle, or between a row of three lights and a pair. A two- or three-light configuration was better than a single light configuration for the detection of relative motion, but a single light was better than multi-light configurations for relative trajectory discrimination. Therefore a light configuration which includes a vertical component seems to be no more effective than the traditional pair of lights in specifying change of distance or relative trajectory of movement. However, previous research has found that such light configurations do improve sensitivity to distance change, but the conditions in those experiments were quite different to those in the current study. No previous research seems to be available with regard to the effect of such configurations on relative trajectory discrimination.
KeywordsMotor vehicle drivers--Psychology; Motor vehicles--Lighting; Motion perception (Vision); Space perception
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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