Vision and Adverse Weather

The perceptual and visual skills of human pilots as well as automatic steering and driver assistance systems (laser technologies, lidar, infrared, computer vision) may be heavily modified, if not prone to failure when submitted to adverse weather conditions, mostly fog and rain.
Similar risks of failure can affect information and communications technologies, ICT, involved in the development of Intelligent Transport Systems, ITS, which aim is to improve road-vehicle communication, and to generate real-time information for both user and network operator.
Studies in reduced visibility conditions are difficult to carry out in on-road conditions for obvious safety reasons, but also for scientific matters.
All this implies to carry out tests in a controlled environment, ensuring repeatability of disruptive weather events, in order to quantify the impact in terms of performance loss.
A research infrastructure has been built in the Clermont-Ferrand laboratory belonging to Cerema, french centre for studies and expertise on risks, environment, mobility and urban and country planning.
This platform is used for:
· reproduction and control of fog’s particle size, of meteorological visibility, and of rain’s particle size and intensity;
· physical characterization of natural and artificial fog and rain.
The laboratory also includes a measuring system in order to quantify the photometric characteristics of various objects (luminance and colorimetry).