According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during 2016 there were 7,277,000 vehicle crashes nationally. Among them, approximately 70% happened during the daytime and around 30% of crashes occurred during the nighttime. There were 11,375 nighttime fatal crashes that account for about 48% of total fatal crashes (23,714). Given the fact that only 25%–33% of the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) occur at night, the above statistics indicate that the nighttime crash fatality rate is much higher and nighttime crashes are usually more severe compared to daytime crashes. Providing lighting on roadways is one of the proven safety countermeasures for preventing crashes and reducing fatalities. In particular, lighting at roadway intersections can reduce vehicle crashes by 10% to 26%. Currently, to conduct lighting field testing, INDOT is using several in-service highways, intersections, interchanges, and rest areas. These locations require traffic control and lane closures, which raises safety concerns and causing inconvenience to the public. In addition to the cost and safety concerns, during the evaluation period the new luminaires being tested actually functioned as lighting sources in place of the existing luminaires that were removed in order to install the new luminaires. This means that the new luminaries were used for roadway lighting at the test sites even before they were proven to meet the roadway lighting requirements.

To eliminate traffic control and potential safety concerns, it was proposed to create test beds for field evaluating and to verify the performance of new lighting technologies and luminaires in a controlled, standard setting. Through this study, two lighting test bed facilities were designed and constructed. Illuminance values of installed luminaires were manually measured by a remotely controlled electric cart and drone. The measured illuminance values were analyzed and the analysis indicated that the efficiency of illuminance measurement can be significantly improved by automated methods. An illuminance data repository model was developed to be an effective tool that can greatly facilitate data input and storage process. The use of this model will further increase the productivity of illuminance measurement at the lighting test beds.

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highway lighting, luminance, test beds, automated lighting measurement, drone, remote-controlled cart, simulation

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Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version