Night Vision Enhancement Systems for Ground Vehicles:The Human Factors Literature

Omer Tsimhoni and Paul Green

March 2002

This report summarizes applied human factors studies of vision enhancement systems (both night vision goggles and LCD-based systems) and related topics for driving at night. Research recommendations are given based on gaps in the literature

Studies are grouped by dependent measure and task (target detection, distance/gap estimation, driving performance, subjective workload and preference, and other) and independent factor categories (display, sensor, environment, and the driver). Display characteristics include aided vs. unaided, viewing, image-display mapping (field of view, magnification, focal length), image polarity, stereoscopic vs. monoscopic systems, and color vs. monochromatic images. Sensor characteristics include the sensor position and panning, type, fusion, reliability, and quality. Environmental characteristics include lighting and visibility, road, traffic and glare, speed, gap size, target characteristics, and task. The driver variable examined is age. For each one of these independent measures, results from all relevant studies are described.

In addition, the report includes a short summary of each paper reviewed. As supplemental material, the appendix includes illustrations of military night vision systems and informal reviews of two civilian night vision systems.

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