Vehicle headlamps and ambient lighting are the primary sources of light in nighttime driving scenarios. Understanding when an object on a roadway is likely to be detectable as a vehicle approaches can be a key element in the reconstruction of nighttime collisions. Knowledge of the shape of the headlamp beam and its capacity to illuminate objects in front of a vehicle is necessary when evaluating a driver’s ability to detect non-illuminated objects in low-light environments.
The level of illumination that is necessary for a driver to detect an object or pedestrian in low-light conditions depends on the brightness of the object, or the clothing color of the pedestrian. Headlamp mapping involves quantifying the shape and distribution of light from a vehicle headlamp beam.
Headlamp illumination patterns are unique to each vehicle. Characterizing the shape and distribution of light from a vehicle headlamp beam allows us to determine when an object or pedestrian in the path of a vehicle could be detectable by its driver on an unlit roadway.
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