TxDOT Project 0-6647: Developing Luminance-Based Mobile Highway Delineation Equipment and Level of Service Guidelines for Safe Nighttime High-Speed Travel

This research project is focused on nighttime safety from the perspective of providing a quantifiable technique to assess the nighttime delineation of the roadway scene as a whole, and in terms of what driver see and need. All of the nighttime traffic control devices that are intended to provide visibility in terms of the roadway scene are developed, deployed, and tested in isolation. This research aims to develop a comprehensive way to assess the amount of delineation and provide a level of service framework that can be used to manage delineation in terms of safety and maintenance. The heart of the research is the development and calibration of a mobile luminance-based highway delineation measurement system. It is envisioned that this system can be used to assess the nighttime delineation along the TxDOT system. The type of traffic control devices that would be quantified together would include signs, pavement markings, pavement markers, delineators, Chevrons, guardrail reflectors, and others. This system will be used to develop a framework for how to build a level of service (LOS) assessment system with respect to nighttime traffic control devices.

The two critical issues we plan to address are:

  1. Develop a prototype luminance measurement device and manual.
  2. Develop a framework for developing a LOS assessment tool for nighttime visibility of TCDs.

TTI will construct the system and field test it under rural and urban conditions in Texas. The field testing will help the research team determine the system’s capabilities, determine areas for component and software upgrades, and evaluate different data reduction and analysis techniques that could be applied when conducting LOS analyses.