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Proceedings Paper

Driving with indirect viewing sensors: understanding the visual perception issues
Author(s): Barbara L. O'Kane
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Paper Abstract

Visual perception is one of the most important elements of driving in that it enables the driver to understand and react appropriately to the situation along the path of the vehicle. The visual perception of the driver is enabled to the greatest extent while driving during the day. Noticeable decrements in visual acuity, range of vision, depth of field and color perception occur at night and under certain weather conditions. Indirect viewing sensors, utilizing various technologies and spectral bands, may assist the driver's normal mode of driving. Critical applications in the military as well as other official activities may require driving at night without headlights. In these latter cases, it is critical that the device, being the only source of scene information, provide the required scene cues needed for driving on, and often-times, off road. One can speculate about the scene information that a driver needs, such as road edges, terrain orientation, people and object detection in or near the path of the vehicle, and so on. But the perceptual qualities of the scene that give rise to these perceptions are little known and thus not quantified for evaluation of indirect viewing devices. This paper discusses driving with headlights and compares the scene content with that provided by a thermal system in the 8 - 12 micrometers micron spectral band, which may be used for driving at some time. The benefits and advantages of each are discussed as well as their limitations in providing information useful for the driver who must make rapid and critical decisions based upon the scene content available. General recommendations are made for potential avenues of development to overcome some of these limitations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 May 1996
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2736, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 1996, (31 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.241040
Show Author Affiliations
Barbara L. O'Kane, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2736:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 1996
Jacques G. Verly, Editor(s)

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