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Evaluation of Driver Visual Demand on Three-Dimensional Rural Highway Alignments

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posted on 08.06.2021, 11:15 authored by Wen Long He
This research focuses on evaluating driver visual demand on three-dimensional (3D) highway alignments consisting of combined horizontal and vertical alignments which is an important part of highway design consistency research. Using a driving simulator, ten hypothetical 2D and 3D alignments for two-lane rural highways were developed, following the standard guidelines of the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Fifteen driver subjects drove in the simulator. The data relating to visual demand information were processed and analysed using Microsoft Excel and SAS statistical software. The results indicated that visual demand on 3D curves varies widely with the inverse of radius of horizontal curvature and the inverse of K value of vertical curvature. Age played another important role on visual demand. Models for evaluating visual demand on 3D highway alignments were developed for curves and tangents. The models developed in this study have been applied to horizontal and 3D alignments to carry out a design consistency evaluation. In addition, GIS virtual reality technique was applied to present the visual demand results for a real highway on the 3D visualization model. 3D visualization not only offers a better understanding of driver workload along the highway, but also represents an important tool to effectively manage information.





Master of Applied Science


Civil Engineering

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Dr. Said Easa Dr. Paul Milgram